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Mr. Smarty Plants - Genetics reason for color variation in Indian paintbrush

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Sunday - April 03, 2005

From: Galveston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Genetics reason for color variation in Indian paintbrush
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are the color variations in Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) a matter of genetic mutation or minerals in the soil? I say it's genetic and the rest of the family says it's environmental.

ANSWER:

Congratulations! You are right that the color variations of Indian paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) are due to genetics. "Normal" color variations range from carmine to brick red to salmon. Less common are yellow- and white-flowered individuals. While soil conditions can have a small effect on flower color, the variations you are seeing are genetic in origin.

 

From the Image Gallery


Entireleaf indian paintbrush
Castilleja indivisa

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