Q: I purchased the three white cone flowers last year while they were in full bloom. This year however two plants have green petals in place of white ones.Should I pull the two plants that show signs of problems?
A: This could be caused by a couple of things:
1. Seed from last year’s flowers sprouted and a recessive gene for green flower petals (technically they are called rays) exhibited itself in the seedlings that came up this year.
2. they could be affected by a phytoplasma (a bacterium-like disease that causes green, distorted flowers).
I lean toward the first diagnosis because your flowers don’t seem distorted at all.
I would bet that any seed produced by the green flowers would be sterile. If you want to have an adventure, plant the seed and see what happens.
If you get coneflowers whose rays are consistently green, year after year, you could have a money-making plant!
Coneflower with green ray petals
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