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RE: another dumb seedling question


Joanne,

Hostas that emerge without much chlorophyl rely on stored energy until
they begin to turn green at which point they produce enough to keep the
plant growing. As you have observed, seeds that emerge white or nearly
white only have the energy stored in the seed to survive on and if they
don't turn green quickly they have little chance of surviving. 

I'm thinking about hostas in the trade that start out white or mostly
white and then turn green and the only ones I can think of are sports of
other plants. When the sports first emerged, they had the mother plant
to live off of until the point the sport was severed and allowed to live
on its own. H. 'White Trouble' and other similar plants emerge entirely
white and live off of energy stored in the roots and only later in the
season turn green at which point the roots are "reinvigorated" and
become the store-house of energy for the next season. Some other
viridescent plants have green edges which allow them to get some growth
energy while the rest of the plant is white. Some examples of these
plants are H. 'Guardian Angel', H. 'Whirlwind', and H. 'Bud is Wiser'.
These are sports of all green plants, H. 'Blue Angel, H. 'Fortunei
Hyacinthina', and H. 'Blue Mammoth', respectively. They start out with a
lot of white but are vigorous because they green-up (to varying degrees)
later in the season. 

In my experience with seedlings the all white ones don't have a chance.
The very light yellow ones do seem to grow OK in some varieties due to
chlorophyl being present. I have some H. 'On Stage' OP seedlings that
are very light in color, emerging nearly white, but have vigourous
growth. After the leaves emerge they do begin to get some light green in
them but the plant still appears very light colored. It may depend on
the variety.

These are just some of my observations. If anyone can give us a more
scientific explanations I'm sure we could all benefit (its a learning
thing). 

Thanks!

Norm Lesch
Manchester, MD

>----------
>From: 	Joanne Pyszczek[SMTP:jopyz@earthlink.net]
>Sent: 	Wednesday, December 02, 1998 4:24 PM
>To: 	hosta list
>Subject: 	another dumb seedling question
>
>As I'm looking at the my sedlings I've got one that's nearly white, a goner
>for sure.  But it made me wonder about mature hostas that are viridescent.
>Do they start out fairly white and just manage by luck to survive long
>enough for the viridescent tendancy to kick in and start producing
>chlorophyll?  Or do they start out as green seedlings and as they mature
>emerge lighter in spring?
>Joanne
>jopyz@earthlink.net
>
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