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Albino lophomyrtus

Rob McGee
(Non-member from Dunedin City)
14/02/2019 12:19:48 p.m.
I have a NZ tree lophomyrtus bullata in my backyard in Dunedin. Its about 3 metres high. For the past few years there has been an outgrowth from the exposed root system at the base of the plant, which has red stems and white leaves. This suggests these leaves have no chlorophyll. They are now about 0.3M high. I have had no luck in coming up with anything. I found some interesting literature on "albinism" in california redwoods. These albino leaves sprout from branches attached to the base roots of the redwood. These redwood leaves are anatomically different from ordinary redwoods and can also act to accumulate heavy metals such as cadmium, nickel and copper. The hypothesis is that the albino plant assists the parent plant by absorbing these toxins, so can live quite nicely on sugars from the parent plant. I'd be keen to see if our tree is uncommon and maybe warrants some study.
14/02/2019 5:12:16 p.m.
This is very interesting, thanks for sharing. I suggest you get in touch with John Barkla at DOC Dunedin - he might be interested in this, or he might refer this to others working in Myrtaceae.

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