The spontaneous formation of more than the usual number of cotyledons within a species has been referred as pleiocotyly or polycotyly.
I’m sure for many this already comes with the exclamation – boring!!!
But, this is not a common event and I didn’t find any source reporting it for Gentianaceae so, here it is, my short personal communication about spontaneous tricotyledony in Swertia perennis L. – Fam. Gentianaceae.
And yes, even more boring and without any pretty picture!
The genetic basis for natural variation in the cotyledon number is still to be completely understood and although not extensively researched it has been reported in Populus, Prosopis, Acacia, Helianthus annuus, Solanum lycopersicum, Raphanus and few other species.
It has been speculated that additional cotyledons may result in better development and establishment of the seedlings; I’ll see how the little tri -Swertias develop :) and report back about them.
Swertia perennis – google images