Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quercus.....alba? Encounters with Faery trees

A walk in the park today began with an urge to get the blood flowing, and somehow ended in a thrilling scientific discovery. Sitting on a bench in the shade, I looked over and saw a little white plant out of the corner of my eye. I figured it was a variegated offshoot of a nearby shrub. I've seen this happen before with Redwood trees. But upon closer examination, I realized it was an albino oak seedling. Now this I've never seen before! There's only one mention of this on the internet, and it was a freak oak seedling at the Chelsea flower show that baffled scientists. I thought about taking it home, so I gave it a gentle tug. It didn't budge. It wanted to stay. So, I took pictures and continued down the path, whereupon I stumbled another albino oak seedling, this time much taller and in the sun. It started life in the shade of some grasses, but was now frying in the heat of the July sun. I gave this one a tug and the whole thing came out of the ground, acorn and all. The trunk is pink and the acorn is the color of antique ivory. It's sitting in a glass of water on the coffee table. I don't know what the odds are for survival of albino oak trees, but my guess is that it's not very good, as plants need chlorophyll to synthesize sunlight, and this little tree has no green whatsoever. We'll see how it goes...


  1. Maybe it needs to eat meat?

    Ha ha, I JOKE, I JOKE!

  2. That's awesome, I have never heard of an albino tree. It could be because of their survival rate, best of luck to the little guys.

    I'm so glad to see you've gotten a blog. I used to follow your website obsessively back when you were doing your Schoolbooks and Brimstone series.

    You were an inspiration :)