En Espa—ol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - March 29, 2008

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Fasciation in Houston.
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

I live in Houston and have had a rather large flower garden for many years. Most of the flowers are just gorgeous but over the last two or three years I have noticed that occasionally some of the flowers spout out with deformed blossoms. White Shasta Daisy is one example. In totally different parts of the yard I have seen them spout with two yellow centers attached back to back with deformed white petals and the stalk is shaped like a ribbon instead of a stem. I donít know what could cause that. Also, a few of my purple coneflowers have spouted with green petals instead of purple petals or with a mixture of green/purple petals. This year I noticed that some of my yellow wildflowers (sorry I donít know the name) (itís a yellow wildflower that bushes out and has many blossoms on one bush) anyway I noticed that even on the same bush, some of the blossoms have yellow petals and some have green petals and also some of the green petaled ones are deformed. Have you ever heard of this before? Thank you in advance for your opinion about what could possibly have cause this and what I can do to remedy it.

ANSWER:

This sounds like a case of fasciation, a plant developmental anomaly in which it appears that stems, flowers, leaves and/or fruits have been fused. It is uncertain whether it is genetically determined or caused by disease or some other sort of trauma to the plant. It does appear that there may be an inheritable tendency toward fasciation that may be triggered by environmental conditions such as temperature, crowding, insect attack, disease or wounding of the plant. Some fasciation may be caused by bacterial or viral infections. Fasciation bacteria survive on infected plants and debris and they spread in water and through wounds. If bacteria is to blame, the solution is good sanitation and use of pathogen-free plants. The University of Californi Integrated Pest Management website reccomends you "Avoid injuring the base of plants, especially when plants are wet. Keep the base of plants dry. To control fasciation to all potential causes, do not propagate or graft symptomatic plants. Remove and dispose of infected plants, or prune and dispose of distorted tissue and do not proagate from those plants." Here is a photo of fasciation in Texas Bluebonnet.


Lupinus texensis

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Damaged leaves on bottlebrush buckeye from Glen Mills PA
June 09, 2013 - My recently planted bottlebrush buckeye plants' leaves are looking damaged but it doesn't look like insect or fungus damage. They look battered by wind but I don't understand why that would happen...
view the full question and answer

Leaf cutter ants in potted Mexican lime tree
May 21, 2008 - Hi, I'd like to add a question to the recent post about leaf-cutter ants. I have a potted mexican lime tree that has been inhabited by an ant colony for several months. They are chewing holes in th...
view the full question and answer

Migrating Turkey tail fungus in garden in Austin, TX
November 25, 2014 - I have turkey tail fungus that has migrated from a rotting elm tree stump to a part of my garden that has a healthy wax myrtle tree and other native shrubs, but no rotting tree stumps. Its presence h...
view the full question and answer

School project on acid rain effects on plants from Austin
October 18, 2013 - Hi I go to an Austin high school and I am doing a project on how acid rain affects plant growth. I am wondering if you know any plants that would be more or less susceptible to acid rain for this proj...
view the full question and answer

Care for California lilacs from Portland OR
January 16, 2014 - Hi There, We live in the Portland Oregon area, so temps are moderate and winters are wet. We have several California Lilacs that are about 7ft in height and have created the perfect screen. Love th...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center