The carpel (car) mutation affects the morphology of reproductive organs in Arabidopsis thaliana. car flowers have an increased number of carpels, on average 2.7 +/- 0.8 instead of two in the wild type. Through allelism test with fon1-3 and analysis of the methylation state of the SUPERMAN (SUP) gene in car mutants, we show that car is an epi-mutation of SUP. The methylation pattern of car is clearly distinct from that of fon1-3, another epi-mutation of the SUP gene. Methylation was found predominantly in Cp(A/T)p(A/G) triplets and in CpG pairs. We suggest that the extensive SUP methylation in car has arisen from an abundant methylation of a single CpG site that was already present in abscisic acid-insensitive (abi3-4) mutants, from which car was segregating.