This odd plant is shown here to illustrate the necessity of studying not merely the form of a plant but the forces within it. It receives its name because when it blooms its leaves begin to turn white. The purpose of this, Mr. Burbank says, is to help guide the insects to the blossom in order to insure reproduction. It will be noted that the leaves which do not lead to blossoms remain green, while those which surround the blossoms form brilliantly illumined pathways for the insects. Few plants give outward evidences of their processes so clearly as this-but the forces of heredity and environment are there-none the less-and it is these forces which we must study if we are to help plants to improvement.
This image is from: Luther Burbank: his methods and discoveries and their practical application. Volume 1 Chapter 9