Plant aficionados everywhere are constantly looking for something which they can patent and make a million bucks on — something like ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangea which captured the public’s attention — and their wallets. Many of the new plants we see today came from something called “branch sports” which are basically segments of a tree — like a branch — which has somehow mutated so that it offers something a little different than what the original tree did. If you’re familiar with ‘Delicious’ apples you may be interested to know that the ‘Delicious’ apples which you eat today are actually a branch sport of another ‘Delicious’ apple which wasn’t as attractive. Likewise, ‘Connell Red’ is actually a branch sport of ‘Fireside’ — they’re basically the same, but ‘Connell Red’ is considered more aesthetically attractive.
But some of those mutations are heart-breakers, Here’s an example.
This raspberry, which I found in my daughter’s raspberry dish last night (she was very upset that I stole it) has a really cool stripe running down it’s side. If someone found this in a raspberry patch they might be tempted to try to propagate the branch from which it came hoping to get striped fruit. Unfortunately that isn’t likely. This is an example of a sectorial chimera — where just a strip of tissue has been mutated. These types of mutations are notoriously difficult to propagate and so it’s unlikely that this mutation will last after propagating the branch from which this raspberry came. Still, it is kind of cool, isn’t it?