Very Strange Spider Plant Occurance. Mystery?

NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)January 13, 2007

Ok, so this is new to me, but may not be to some of you, so maybe someone out there can tell me what is going on. Here is the story:

So, I go to a very nice, and very large nursery here in our area called Merrifield Garden Center, new years eve day. Two friends and I. I was looking for a small ALL GREEN spider plant. Alas, they didnt have any "small" ones for me to buy. They only had two LARGE all green ones in hanging baskets that were covered in babies. I asked about buying one of the "babies' off of the big plant (all green) and the very nice lady eaches up.. breaks a BIG "baby" one off.. and says, "Oh look, what a terrible accident...." hands the baby, stolon and all, and says "happy new year!"

Howe very cool. It gets better tho, and this is where the mystery lies.

This all green baby, from an all green mother plant, had been on the mother so long, that it had produced its very OWN stolon, w/ 4 branches, and a few of its OWN "babies", the largest is the one at the very end, as is usually the case. The stolon and its branches had flower buds as well, which are now about to open.

I didnt notice this immediatly, but after a few minutes of holding it I started inspecting the stolon and its babies. Mind you, this stolon is coming FROM the "baby" that was still on the stolon to ITS mother plant, that the laday that works there broke of to give to me. Anyway, the baby plants on the "BABY"s stolon are NOT solid green. In fact, they are wildly stripped, in rather odd patterns. Ive never seen a spider plant like it. There are also a fairly large number of almost ENTIRELY WHITE leaves. The entirely white leaves do have a very thin green strip on the leaf edges though.

SO my question is, why is this happening. I thought spider babies were exact genetic copies of thier mother? The "BIG BABY" that I was given that has produced this stolon, is all green, as was ITS mother plant. SO where is this verigation coming from? Is it possible that it is a recessive gene that has come out?

OR, could the stolon that the "BIG BABY" that is all green, was on, have been pollinated by a verigated plant when it bloomed? If so, would being polinated by a verigated plant, cause the baby plant thats on the stolon, to produce verigated babies, even though it is a green plant? Or does the pollination of the flowers on the stolon not affect the baby plants that are on the same stolon at all? Does anyone possibly know whats going on here? Has anyone ever seen something like this before?

Ill try to post some pics of this over the weekend.

Thanks for any and all help!


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Asexual reproduction does not always produce a genetically identical copy. Consider variegated snake plants which will produce non variegated plants when cuttings are used.

I do not know what is going on in the case of the spider plant.

I do know that when cells divide to produce new plants, the traits of the new plant will be determined by the cells which divide and the cells which divide may not carry the same traits that are dominant in the parent plant.

Anyway, I want one of the babies that your white spider plant baby produces. Badly! ;-) (Assuming it's babies remain white)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 2:10AM
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Me too, me too! I can even trade you a curly one for a white one!

Not having paid attention in school, I can't explain the mutation in colors...all I know is, my "greens" produce green babies, my "stripes" have striped babies and my "curly" has curly kids.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 7:10AM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Well, as promised, here are a few photos:

First one is the solid green mother plant:

Second is the stolon and its branches:

Third is a closeup of the mostly white baby on the stolon:

And another:

And a closeup of one of the leaves. Its kinda blurry, but I think you can get the idea. Notice how the verigation on the leaves that do have some green, is very odd? Its not even close to your typical white edges w/ green centers, or green edges w/ white centers. Is way more stripped, and the stripes are uneven, and different on each leaf. The mostly white leaves are white , save for a thin green strip on the very edges.

I would be happy to give some of these away, once the plant matures and produces more. These are still very young. The stolon has not even bloomed yet, and there is not a single sign of ariel roots forming on the babys. I usually will not remove the babys until they have well formed arial roots. The top photo, was the "big green baby" that was still on the mother plant, and had massive ariel roots. I placed it in water and within a week it started producing the big fat white, hairy roots (soil roots). Ill try to post a few more pics of my other spider plant today. The babay that is on that was is getting very big, and has a good set of ariel roots beginning to grow. however, that baby already has been promised to someone. =o( That plant is mostly gree, with white and yellow verigation on the very edges of its leaves. The baby it has produced is just about identical, maybe alittle more yellow in its verigation.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 1:00PM
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nanw_4wi(4/SW WI)

What you've described sounds much like the cultivar marketed as the 'Hawaiian' spider plant.
I know that it *must* have a more concise botanical name, but I don't know it, sorry.

The mother plant, at maturity, is all green, even though it started out as a variegated plant.
The 'babies' it produces are variegated, and turn all green as they mature. They, too, can produce 'babies' that are again, variegated.
When any/all of the 'babies' mature, they do, to the best of my knowledge, eventually turn all green.

Not certain, but it sounds like you have one of these 'Hawaiian' Spider Plants.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 12:15PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Pretty cool, I've never seen this before, I really like that leaf that's almost all white w/ the outer sliver of green. Mighty handsome! Enjoy!

(I haven't grown spiders for at least 10 yrs. years since my last one outgrew my kitchen & was ready to take over the enter kitchen table; got too heavy for the hanger too. Was a beauty tho' esp. when in full bloom!)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 5:56PM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Thanks guys! So can anyone actually confirm if this is a "Hawaiian Spider Plant" ???

Its fine w/ me if it turns all green. I wanted an all green plant anyway! If the babies to change to all green with maturity, thats even cooler though!

Anyone who can help me positively ID this guy is greatly appreciated! Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 11:07PM
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Yes, this is 'Hawaiian' spider plant. I have seen the plant in the Molbak Nursery (12/28/07, Woodinville, WA) It was labelled as such.

Address: 13625 NE 175th St.
Woodinville, WA 98072 (Near Seattle)

Phone: (425) 483-5000
Toll Free 1 (866) 466-5225

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 10:13PM
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holy crap! that is so cool! i think i learn a little bit more every time i read posts. now i want a curly! not that i need it...but i think i have an addiction. send me to plant-aholics-annonymous please!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 10:16AM
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Very lovely! (Makes a note to keep an eye out for a Hawaiian one.)

I finally got lucky and found an all-green one. It's HUGE. No hanging this one from the curtainrod. Good thing I had a hook I could put up real quick.

I also have a gorgeous regular variegated one I rescued from Home Depot - coldest day of the autumn so far last year, with the killing frost predicted for that night, and there were the last of the summer patio plants huddled shivering outside in the cold. I bought it because it looked like the only one that might have a chance of surviving and it's been thriving ever since. I have it in an unshaded north window in a room that gets bright light from an east-facing patio door and a west-facing picture window and it loves it there. (It doesn't get too cold there because it's about six feet above the heat. I just have to remember to keep an eye on it so it doesn't dry out.)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 8:27PM
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radagast(US east coast)

That's rather neat - I had no idea that there were much of any spider-platn varities out there.

Awww... glad you rescued the poor spider plant from Home Depot. It's sad seeing how some of the plants get treated at some places.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 12:15PM
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I know I'm re-hashing an old post, but I just found this post via Google because I'm in a similiar, but not quite the same situation. I have two little ones under the age of two so I have to go and can't write about the whole thing now, but if you are interested in reading about it I set up a blog to follow the progress. I'll copy the link below. The blog includes photos. I'll quickly say it talks about an ALL white seedling with pale yellow and another sport that is strange from the same mother plant. I will need to look into the Hawaiian cultivar mentioned in this post.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Yellow Spider Plant

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 3:24PM
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