Three cotyledons...

Yesterday I noticed that one of my rose seedlings had 3 cotyledons and I was surprised. I know that its a fluke but is it likely to be genetically unstable? Are freak things like this likely to grow well? And what are other variations you can/will see in rose seedlings? Are any of them desirable? Will they stay like that or revert?

Thanks in advance,


Three cotyledons are usually not a problem. I’ve never noticed anything different about the resulting seedlings.

I don’t know what it means, but I have seen more of it this year than what I usually do. Here is a photo of seedlings from a hulthemia seed parent. Four out of the eight seedlings shown have 3 cotyledons.

Jim Sproul

Have you noted that one of the cotyledons tends to die off? I noted this in my seedlings. Otherwise they seems to do fine.

I just got a 3fer. Two are smaller and one is larger. The two smaller are closer together but definately seperate. Don’t know if that means anything or not.

This morning I noticed that I have a seedling with FOUR cotyledons. That will be interesting to watch. I think it’s only been up for 3-4 days, but it looks as if true leaves are beginning to develop.

So far the seedling I have that had 3 is lagging waaaaay behind all the others in development. It’s alive yet extremely tiny and slow growing. How did the rest of yours turn out?

My last three cot is lagging behind the rest as well.

I only note it because it is one of my more valuable crosses so I track the progress. It does seem to be increasing in vigor however.

I’ve not kept track of anything but my four cotyledon seedling. It is doing fine, but the growth is definitely unusual (to my experience). The leaves are all opposite rather than alternate, which makes for an unusual looking rose! But it seems very healthy and apparently has similar vigor to its more normal sister seedlings.

Hmm, mine looks like it is trying to have two slightly fused leaves coming out of where one would normally grow.