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Albino Trees

Albinism is a condition in humans and animals in which the skin lacks pigment. Who knew that plants can be albino, too? It's very rare. The picture above shows a closeup of an albino redwood tree.  

They're known as "ghost trees," and for good reason: Albino redwoods are extremely rare and nearly impossible to spot. There may be as few as 25 of these trees in the world, yet eight of them are at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park in Northern California. They lack chlorophyll and suck energy from their parent tree.

An interview at NPR tells us about the redwood ghost trees, and how their genetic diversity allows for such strange mutations. While a tree without chlorophyll cannot survive on its own, the trees at the state park have survived by grafting their roots to nearby trees. Minnesotastan explains more about natural grafting at TYWKIWDBI.

(Image credit: Cole Shatto)


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