Variable Variegation

Rosie Lerner, Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist, Purdue University

At first glance, this Tulip tree looks like it could be turning yellow from nutritional disorder. A closer look reveals an interesting, variable pattern of variegation, that begs the question, "Is growth normal?" Some of the leaves are mostly dark green, others have varying degrees of pale green surrounding the dark green. And a few leaves have varying degrees of yellow to yellowish green surrounding the darker center of the leaves.

This pattern is normal for this particular cultivar of Tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera 'Aureomarginatum', sometimes markets as 'Majestic Beauty'. There are a few other variegated cultivars of tuliptree in the trade.

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