A friend of mine found a strange plant of begonia that at first had regular flowers. After a while it started producing double flowers and has now a mixed inflorescence:

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The double flowers look like a result of a homeotic mutant that are also known for begonia, but in this case it is as if such a mutation was somatically "unstable". What might be the mechanism of this abnormality?

  • $\begingroup$ I’m unsure of the mechanism, but there are a number of common flowers that change like this. Often it is “age” related: the young plant gives single flowers, and as it matures, it starts giving double (or more). Some doubles if undernourished will only produce singles. On cosmos, seeing singles and doubles on the same plant is common on plants that are hybridized to be doubles, but not vs. versa. Some sunflowers give doubles on the early buds, but drop to singles on later axillary buds. Your begonia, if healthy, should start producing more doubles. $\endgroup$ Jun 3, 2022 at 11:02
  • $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse Thanks for the insight. I feel like we might mean different phenomena though. I'm referring to the homeotic mutation that causes stamens to be replaced with petals. Do you mean the same thing for your Asteraceae examples? $\endgroup$
    – alephreish
    Jun 4, 2022 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ I did say that I didn’t know the mechanism, so could not have meant that. Maybe you should clarify your post? $\endgroup$ Jun 4, 2022 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ I've updated the question $\endgroup$
    – alephreish
    Jun 5, 2022 at 19:58


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