Fringed Tulips

Jim McKenney
Mon, 18 Apr 2011 09:25:40 PDT
Thanks for that response, Judy. Janos also responded, privately, with some of the same information.

I already knew that 'Fringed Beauty' was a sport of 'Titan', but what I learned from Judy's response is that 'Titan' was a double early tulip. 

That answers part of what I was wondering about: which came first among the avatars of this variable clone,  the doubling or the fringing (I'm assuming that 'Titan' was not fringed).

Here's what I'm still wondering about: it's unlikely that the seed from which this variable clone was raised produced a double flower when it first bloomed. In other words, the original seedling was probably a six-petaled tulip, presumably a member of the single early group.  If that is true, I would like to learn the name of this tulip, too. 

So here's my hypothesis for reconstructing the history of this variable clone: a seed germinated, produced a tulip plant which eventually bloomed as a six-petaled tulip, most likely a member of the single early group.  That was avatar one, and I would like to know the name of that tulip. Eventually a plant of the six-petaled tulip sported into a double flowered tulip. That is avatar two, which was known as 'Titan'. Then a plant of 'Titan' sported into a fringed form, the avatar we know as 'Fringed Beauty'.  

I hope someone will be able to come up with the name of that original tulip.

I've used the word avatar (in the sense of "manifestation") to describe these nominally distinct manifestations of a variable clone. The concept it introduces to this discussion is, it seems to me, a much better representation of what is happening in variable clones than the widespread practice of treating each seemingly distinct mutation as a separate clone. The latter usage violates the original meaning of the word clone; the use of the term avatar preserves it.

Jim McKenney

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