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They like well-drained but moisture-retentive soil in sun or part shade and come in a huge variety of colours, which may be plain, blotched or bicoloured.
Comparing gene sequences of feral cats with different patterns allowed co-first authors Christopher Kaelin and Xiao Xu to identify mutations in a gene they dubbed Taqpep associated with the blotched tabby markings - 58 of 58 blotched tabbies had a mutation in each of its two copies of Taqpep, while 51 of 51 mackerel tabbies had a least one unmutated version.
Here, blotching is defined as a cloudy, removable spot on the surface caused by an increased concentration of coating material usually seen with a ring around the blotched area.
This species clearly undergoes ontogenesis (Campbell and Lamar 1989, 2004), and usually keeps the blotched appearance of the young pattern, though the lighter colors change to the above-mentioned adult description.
THE cheerful blotched flowers of polyanthus and primulas come in a massive range of colours and are ideal for perking up containers at this time of year, adding interest to rockeries or the front of beds and borders.
This strong grower's blotched face is a harbinger of more deeply blotched violas to come.