Propagation: Seeds from variegated maples

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Sébastien, Nov 18, 2022.

  1. Sébastien

    Sébastien New Member Maple Society

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    Hi,

    I noticed that variegated japanese maples rarely produce seeds. But when some branches present a reversion, they recover the ability to produce seeds. I wonder if I harvest seeds from those branches, I have more chance to obtain variegated seedlings than other non-variegated maples or not? And what if I harvest seeds from a totally reverted tree?
    For exemple in the arboretum of Aubonne in Switzerland there is a japanese maple identified "roseomarginatum" but the leaves are not variegated. I suppose that the entire tree has reverted for a long time.
    But what if I collect seeds from this tree?
     
  2. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I don't think so Sébastien.
    Actually, I'm almost 100% sure that you won't get variegated seedlings, ma main au feu...

    BUT ! Planting seeds is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you'll get... ;°)
     
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  3. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi Sebastien, I've never seen variegated maples from seedlings, only from grafting or air layering. Cuttings might do it, but that is a more difficult route IMO. Although some on the forum are very successful with the hydroponics route.
    But as Alain said ,you never know what you might get when seedlings pop up.
     
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  4. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I agree with Alain that the reverted seed won't likely be variegated. On the other hand, you never know who the other parent is, so...

    My experience is somewhat different than Derek, in that I've had quite a few variegated seedlings. Many from 'Versicolor', among a few others, and I've made a few selections which have been given away or are planted in the garden (or have died, I lost a lot of them one winter). So at least some variegated Japanese Maples do set fruit, though perhaps less so than their plain green or red cousins.

    As for variegated maples more generally, you can certainly get variegated offspring from A. rufinerve 'Albolimbatum' or A. negundo 'Variegatum'. There are many variegated Acer rubescens, apparently very easy to get from seed. Some say the cultivars all look the same, but I find this more poor observation than anything else, although admittedly some of them are very similar. It's also well known that the variegated sycamores like 'Leopoldii' and 'Nizetii' throw variegated seedlings, some of which I've selected, or even from 'Corstorphinense' although it is not itself variegated.
     
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  5. Sébastien

    Sébastien New Member Maple Society

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    Ok I thought that variegation is a genetic feature and can be transmitted to some seedlings. In my experience I have obtained a variegated seedling on one occasion but unfortunately he died from damping off. I'm very interested by variegation and the genetical transmission of features in japanese maples. MrMaple posted an Alan Tabler's lecture from the symposium if the Maple Society on Youtube about the variegation and it was very interesant. For exemple I did'nt knew that totally reversed japanese maple can again show total variegation once they are mature. That's the reason of my question here. There is still left to discover in that field.

    @emery I've collected seeds from the Acer morifolium that is in the arboretum of Aubonne in Switzerland. I have sown them so let's see in the spring if I will obtain variegated seedlings.
     

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  6. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for mentioning this, I looked it up on youtube and it was an interesting talk.

    One thing to consider when thinking about variegations is that the genetic mutation that causes the variegation can be physically located within three different parts of the plant's genetic makeup. Most likely is a mutation in the chloroplast DNA, but could also be a mutation in the mitochondrial DNA or the nuclear DNA which would affect the development of the plastids and induce variegation. I very much doubt any studies have been done to identify where the mutations occur in Acer DNA and whether it is different for different types of variegation. Or whether each type would be likely to permanently revert or have the ability to switch off and on like some seem to be able to do. The Alan Tabler talk mentioned that it was one particular type of variegation that could be recovered in mature plants, with the implication that other types were permanently reverted.

    I noted in the video that it was recommended to take scion wood for grafting from the most variegated parts of a JM and not the reverted part, so I would imagine the same is best advice for collecting seeds.
     
  7. LoverOfMaples

    LoverOfMaples Generous Contributor Maple Society

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    @Sébastien if you are in search of a almost promising variegation seed producer, find a seed producing 'Shigitasu sawa'. I have had very good luck with this one.
     
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  8. Sébastien

    Sébastien New Member Maple Society

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    @LoverOfMaples I've recolted a lot of seeds from a maple labeled "reticulatum" but it looked like Shigitatsu sawa. So I hope to have some good surprises. Do you have pictures of your seedlings from shigitatsu sawa?
     
  9. Sébastien

    Sébastien New Member Maple Society

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    I found a bad picture of my variegated seedling that died from damping off. Even the cotyledons were variegated. The seed was from the roseomarginatum at the arboretum. Maybe it was just a chance.
     

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