Mutants ?



A couple of years ago I got some free morning glory seeds from the seed exchange at the library. They did okay on the chain link fence by the used car lot’s washrooms. I saved those seeds and planted them the following year.

I saved all the seeds in one jar, and planted them as they fell into my hand. The first year’s morning glories were a mix of common light purple and regular dark purple ones.

The first morning glories that bloomed in 2018 were closest to the house. They were mostly white with pale pink centres, a few with purple fragments or streaks. The rest of the vines further away from the house were all regular purple and dark purple ones. I wondered how the white and streaked seeds were only in this location, as they weren’t mixed in anywhere else ? How did they self select from a random planting ?

It took months before it occured to me that those white morning glories might have been affected by the gas fumes. The plants right below the vent pipes were normal. The fumes wouldn’t sink like a stone unless the air was perfectly still – they would travel a short distance as they dissipated and sunk…

When I collected the seeds in the fall the white and streaked plants were different. Normally the seed pods have about 4-6 seeds, from every flower. The white ones only had a single seed, occasionally a second stunted seed.

I’m not a plant biologist, but this seems odd, and significant. The only seeds I planted the second year were from the first year’s plants ?




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