RECORD: Anon. 1868. [Review of Variation]. A rose with single and double flowers. American Agriculturalist, vol. 27 (October): 371.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe. 7.2021. RN1


A correspondent sends us a drawing and an account of a rose-bush, one portion of which produces single and the other double flowers. This is an instance –by no means rare –of what the gardeners term a "sport," and what Mr. Darwin in his work on "Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication," calls "Bud Variation." In this remarkable work are collected numerous cases of this kind, and the subject is discussed at length. That plants vary from seeds is well known to every one; a bud is in a manner an individual embryo plant, a highly developed seed, so to speak. The bud can be removed from the parent plant and be inserted in another and grow, and in some instances it will grow, if put into the soil, like a seed. The branch produced from a bud sometimes produces a growth quite different from the plant which it springs, and presents distinct characters, which may be perpetuated by cuttings. In this way some of the choice florist's varieties have been obtained with the rose and many other plants. A white moss-rose has produced a red one, and a moss-rose has, by bud variation, given roses totally destitute of "mossiness," The well-known rose Saffrano, in this way produced the more beautiful Isabella Sprunt. […]

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 25 September, 2022