In an area with enough space for volunteers to occur, sports are almost inevitable.  The majority of seedlings, whether trees or perennials, are utterly expected.  For example, the majority of Japanese Maple seedlings here take after the big maple: maroon leaves with a relatively coarse outline.  The occasional green seedling occurs, perhaps one in a thousand.  The cut leaf seedling is rarer, perhaps one in ten thousand, and doesn’t seem to have much in the way of vitality.  Which explains the price of cut leaf Japanese Maples rather neatly.

Perennials are even less likely to have sports.  We do have one at the moment though and I ought to figure out how to mark it.  I am not a fan of variegated foliage (outside hostas and pulmonarias, and the odd yucca or iris), I find it deeply suspicious.  Especially in trees.  Though I will admit the variegated Pagoda dogwood looks like it might be a nice addition.  Still, I have my suspicions.

Consequently, two years ago when it first showed up, I eyed the variegated heart leaved wood aster with great trepidation.  It didn’t appear last year (or I didn’t see it).  This year it is up to about five stems.  It is rather pretty, the streaking is a pleasant marled pattern of ivory on green with no deformity of the leaves.

I ought to mark its location.  The thing is we probably have a solid acre plus of wood aster (if you lumped it all together) so five stems….well the odds are rather poor.  And the location is prone to vigorous weeding/poison ivy spraying by yours truly.  But all those plants out there in the trade…for the most part, it is accident, chance, that created them. It is sort of neat to see it happen in one’s own garden.