Plant Mutations


Grossly deformed Gloriosa daisy found in 1989, on the river banks of the Susquehanna in Goldsboro, directly across from Three Mile Island. Another stem fasciation; this plant had a very wide flat stem, many deformed flower heads (looking like caterpillars), and a double flower growing back-to-back. This specimen still exists, and retained its color and shape.



A clump of deformed dandelion flowers found in April 1987, about 6 ½ miles north-northwest of TMI. All flowers appear normal except for one with a very wide, hollow stem and multiple flowers growing on top. This effect has been found every year since the accident in March of 1979. At this time, it is not known whether these mutations grow from the seed of prior years, or if there is residual contamination in the soil causing this, or both.

Giant Dandelion

Huge clump of dandelion leaves approximately 31" long found on a mountain about 4 ½ miles northwest of TMI (one of three found at this site). Three abnormally large dandelion plants were found in September 1984, within five feet of each other, in an area that was untouched since the days of the accident. It is not known if this plant had ever produced flowers. Schools near TMI held contests for children to find the longest dandelion leaves.
Misshapen Dandelions

These mutated dandelions are lying on a colored plastic sheet. 7. Over two dozen deformed dandelion flowers picked in a field across the driveway from young Mark’s home about 4 ½ miles north-northwest of TMI. Some stems were flat and solid, other were wide and hollow. Some flowers were very wide and oval shaped and others had multiple flower heads.
Maple Leaves

Misshapen Maple leaves with grossly deformed margins found in August 1987, approximately 6 ½ miles north-northwest direction from TMI. These were given to a botanist from Japan, Dr. Sadao Ichikawa, who said he found similar effects in Germany, after the Chernobyl accident in April of 1986. They lack nature's symmetry.
White Maple Leaves

These maple leaves were small and white having no chlorophyl or green color. The photo was taken in the spring of 1992 approximately 6 1/2 miles north-northwest of TMI. Many tiny leaves grew this way, others dropped off the trees or curled up and withered. Some leaves at this location and also west of the nuclear plant had leaves turn black, like charcoal and were desiccated.
Red Clover

Four or five leaves on Red Clover is highly unusual.
Mutant Rose

Another Rose and a full set of leaves is growing from the center of the rose.
This is referred to as "vegetative
proliferation in floral positions"
There were no reproductive parts.
Mutant Sunflower

Mutant Sunflower, double bud, stem faciation.
Double Squash

This large Yellow Squash is actually two fused squashes which did not divide properly during cellular division. The fusion can be seen on a horizontal line.
Acorn Squash

This double Acorn Squash is the result of aberrant cellular division.
Mutant Buttercups

These tiny flowers are ranuculas or buttercups, photographed in 1987, and were growing 6 1/2 miles north-northwest of TMI. The bloom on the top left is normal, with one center. The top right and bottom left both have double flowers, while the lower right flower appears to have no defined center. Other buttercups sometimes had very twisting stems or the stems grew fused or double.
Missing Reproductive System

This rose is missing its reproductive parts - pistil and stamens.
Mutant Spider

Four legged daddy-long-legger spider photographed on Sunday, July 27, 1996, about 6 ½ miles north-northwest direction. These spiders in a normal, healthy state have 8 legs. Following the accident at TMI, many insects disappeared for many years. In this location, there were no bumble bees, certain type caterpillars, or daddy-long-leg spiders for 10 to 15 years. Pheasant have disappeared as well as hop toads. Carpenter bees disappeared from the location where the 31"dandelion leaves were found, and many dead birds were found there shortly after the accident.
Deer Antlers

Deer with an antler growing down towards its face. This was found by a farmer in Zion’s View, about 4 miles southwest of TMI. The photo was taken in March 1989. Many problems occurred on his farm with cattle, guinea fowl, cats, and dogs. Prior to the accident, farmers would have to call the "animal rendering truck" to pick up a cow if it died. Following the accident, there were so many dead cattle that the animal rendering truck came almost every week.
Two-Headed Cow

A stillborn double headed calf, was stuffed and mounted at the recommendation of the veterinarian. This calf was born a few years after the accident at TMI, on a farm in rural New Cumberland, about 4 ½ to 5 miles northwest of TMI.. Many problems occurred on that farm as well as others in the area. In the spring of 1979, the sheep could not dilate to deliver their lambs. The vet had to perform one or two C-sections a day; prior to the accident he had only one or two a year. The farmer died of thyroid cancer.