Twin seedlings.Goldmoss x Dr. Eckener

Last night I was checking my seedlings and was surprised to find two sprouts emerging from one seed. I have had this happen twice in my 7 or 8 years of hybridizing but never had both survive long after seperation.

Knowing that sometimes two seeds can stick together I expected to find two sets of seed halves when I tried seperating them, but no, there was just one seed planted.

Using a large needle I seperated them and now have each in its own pot. One was slightly smaller than the other but otherwise both were within normal size for new seedlings and healthy.

This morning both seem to have survived the seperation despite the fact that they were physically connected just below where the root becomes stem. I was able to get mostly intact root systems with each so I am optomistic that they may both survive.

If I remember right David said that when this happens one of the twins is often a haploid version of the seed parent. could someone tell us more about this phenemonon?


Randy, this is from memory so the details are sketchy. Originally it was thought that one would be a haploid, but more recent evidence indicates that only “sometimes” is one a haploid.

I hope you have a haploid and are able to keep it alive.

Hi Randy,

Yup, only sometimes is one haploid. If they share the same testa that is a good sign (papery covering). I have confirmed two haploids out of ‘Dorcas’ this way and also a haploid of a seedling of mine. These haploids are finicy. So far they have been female sterile and have some pollen that appears to be the diameter of n and 2n pollen (this case x and 2x), similar to what the French group found with their haploids. One ‘Dorcas’ haploid eventually died, but it was gorgeous because of being stippled. It had more petite leaves than standard tetraploids. It was vigorous for awhile and flowered a lot, but then fell apart.

Many twins are also both tetraploids I’ve found as well. Generally they are different in flower appearance, but I have one pair that appear to be the same. Only DNA marker analysis can confirm if they are “identical twins” for sure, but I don’t have the opportunity to “play” in the lab to look into this.

Congradulations Randy and good luck.


Henry, David,

Thanks for your replies. I appreciate your clarification on what to expect. I wonder if the embryos being physically connected (Siamese twins?) to each other is significant or if they simply grafted onto one another due to the close proximity within the seed?

I will enjoy watching them to see what they become. They were so close in size I questioned whether one could be haploid or not, and now it looks like maybe they will turn out to be tetraploids after all. Whatever they turn out to be it will be interesting to watch it unfold.

Thanks for your replies. It is good hearing from you both.