By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you planted white flowers, how come they’re pink now? What’s going on? It’s called reversion – going back to the way they used to be.

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In the plant world, people are always crossing and mixing plants to come up with something more interesting or unusual looking. Plants with variegated leaves for example – white and green or yellow and green instead of plain green. Or petunias with white striped petals like a pinwheel. Or, white Echinacea. Echinacea purpurea is better known as ‘Purple coneflower,’ and there’s your clue as to why the white one my friend Chris planted a few years ago now has some pink flowers on it.

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While unique cultivars are interesting and they sell well because lots of gardeners are looking for something different, dominant traits in nature are very strong. And over time, often the variegated leaves revert to being green; stripes disappear and you’ve got plain pink petunias; or your ‘White Swan’ of a coneflower may eventually end up being pink or purple.

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And there’s nothing you can really do but blame it on Mother Nature.