Climate changes and chimera

Weird weather and fluctuating temperatures can have interesting affects on plants which is shown here by this stunning camellia currently flowering in a UK garden as the spring weather finally warms. This appears almost unreal but  is the  result of  a natural genetic mutation – known as a chimera – that can change the appearance of the foliage, flowers, fruit or stems of any plant. Most mutations are random as a result of a change within the cells of the plant, but can sometimes be triggered by cold weather, temperature fluctuations or insect damage.

Are you noticing any similar changes to your plants as a result of the challenging weather experienced in the UK recently?

Apparently chimeras occur where there are two DNA lines in one creature or plant. Most living things only have one set of DNA, but through mutation, either natural or artificial, chimeras are born. All variegated plants are technically chimeras too. People or animals with blotchy, differently-patterned skin or two eyes of different colour could also be suspected chimeras.

To find out more about this fascinating natural phenomena visit the RHS plant pages: http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=259

This post was written by:

- who has written 866 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and is keen to "manage" the effects of the weather on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and I hope that it will continue to grow, allowing global gardeners to communicate about the effects of climate change on our plants and the future of our gardens.

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