Sport (botany)

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Foliage of a dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca var. albertiana 'Conica'), with a branch showing reversion[1] to the normal Alberta white spruce growth habit of larger leaves and longer internodes.

In botany, a sport or bud sport, traditionally called lusus,[2] is a part of a plant that shows morphological differences from the rest of the plant. Sports may differ by foliage shape or color, flowers, fruit, or branch structure. The cause is generally thought to be a chance genetic mutation.[3]

Sports with desirable characteristics are often propagated vegetatively to form new cultivars that retain the characteristics of the new morphology.[4] Such selections are often prone to "reversion", meaning that part or all of the plant reverts to its original form. An example of a bud sport is the nectarine, at least some of which developed as a bud sport from peaches. Other common fruits resulting from a sport mutation are the red Anjou pear and the 'Pink Lemonade' lemon which is a sport of the "Eureka" lemon.[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ de Candolle, A. (1868), Laws of Botanical Nomenclature adopted by the International Botanical Congress held at Paris in August 1867; together with an Historical Introduction and Commentary by Alphonse de Candolle, Translated from the French, London: L. Reeve and Co. Article 14 (p. 20-21 and commentary page 42)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Melissa King (8 August 2003), Fact Sheet: What is a Cultivar?, Gardening Australia, retrieved 24 May 2016
  5. ^ Variegated Pink Fleshed Eureka lemon, University of California at Riverside, retrieved 24 May 2016

See also[edit]