albino plant?

This albino plant is my latest discovery in our modest balcony after receiving continuous attacks of snails & small lizards and a bee building tunnels.

Albino plant - rosa mistica

All these can be common in rural areas or a in a garden but we are in the attic floor of an ordinary building in Barcelona. We knew how the snail happened to appear there as explained here.

Although the attitute of the bee and the snail should be respected, what we have here now is pretty much more intriguing. We can no more talk of the maternal instinct of a bee or the fight of a snail for its liberty but of a very complex combination of biological and genetic facts and conditions. You can blame me of drying out the bonsais but no one can deny that I helped the creation of a mini-cosmos.

The shape of the leaves remind me of rosa mistica that we have in the same flower pot.
It seems I can not do a lot to make this albino rosa mistica grow bigger but we should not be as sceptic as the scientists explaining briefly a related question in Newton, Ask a Scientist page:

Question – How can I grow a plant tat is an albino plant,or a plant without chlorophyll,I know its possible to grow them and you may know the answer.


A plant that photosynthesises, and thus is green, cannot survive under normal conditions without chlorophyll. Seeds sprouted in the absence of light will produce white shoots, but they will live only as long as the food stored in the seed lasts. If there is some way to “feed” such a plant and keep it growing I have not heard of it.

J. Elliott


Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.


There are seeds that produce albino plants. These are from plants that have a genetic mutation in their chlorophyll producing genes. You can order them from a biological supply company. There are also certain plant genes that are partially under environmental control and if you germinate the seeds in the dark and keep the plants in the dark, they will not “spend the energy” to produce chlorophyll in the absence of the sun’s energy. They can’t grow this way indefinitely however; they will “starve” without a way to produce food.

van hoeck


update: in less than one week the albino plant disappeared. RIP

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