Some of you may remember my first post about a Brilliant Pink Iceberg that has always been a bummer in my garden. It did, indeed, get shovel pruned a couple of weeks ago. I do have another rose bush of that variety, though, that does reasonably well for me...go figure. This one survivor, however, has produced a sport. In case you're not familiar with the term, a sport is a genetic mutation. It usually causes one branch to produce flowers that are not true to the variety. Brilliant Pink Iceberg, for example, was a sport of Pink Iceberg, which was a sport of Iceberg (a white rose). Apparently, Iceberg (of whatever variety) is prone to genetic mutation. I've seen reports of Pink Iceberg frequently sporting back to a branch of white blooms, like it's parent Iceberg. I have not, however, been able to find anything on the net about BPI sporting half white and half pink petals and blooms like this:
Isn't that just crazy? I have two branches on this bush producing these harlequin style blooms. Even stranger, some of these blooms have petals with the 1/2 and 1/2 coloring - sometimes bright pink and white, sometimes bright pink and pale pink. Check it out:
Imagine a rose whose blooms were entirely made up of 1/2 and 1/2 petals or one that always produced the half white, half pink blooms like the one at the top left in the photo above. I'd certainly buy a rose like that, wouldn't you?
I'm taking cuttings this year to see if this unusual coloration is stable and can be replicated. Not all sports are and I don't have my hopes too high. Still...just the possibility is pretty exciting. Who knows? Maybe, one of these days you'll walk into a nursery and find a harlequin rose called "The Jester," a sport discovered by Jean LaRue.