Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Wednesday - November 21, 2012

From: McCamey, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Fasciation on Texas Mountain Laurel
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Do Texas Mountain Laurel normally have a staghorn looking growth hanging on them after blooming in addition to the seed pod clusters or could this be a mutation?

ANSWER:

The staghorn growth you are seeing on the Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) is called a fasciation.  Fasciation is 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. Texas Mountain Laurel seems especially susceptible to fasciation.  Here are photos photos of fasciated plants and more information from Purdue University Extension and Colorado State Extension and some photos of fasciated, or cristated, cactus (cristation is a synonym for fasciation).

Below are photos of fasciated stems of Texas Mountain Laurel and a fasciated blossom of Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet).

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

More General Botany Questions

Dyes from native North American plants
November 29, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have been working as a textile designer for many years and am now interested in harvesting native North American plants in order to create natural dyes. Which plant ...
view the full question and answer

What are the native plants in Kerrville, Texas?
May 22, 2013 - What are the native plants in Kerrville, Texas?
view the full question and answer

Seed for Kosteletzkya virginica, salt marsh mallow
January 13, 2009 - I have a nursery in North Carolina. We are looking for a reliable seed source for kosteletzkya virginica salt marsh mallow. We are www.campbellfamilynursery.com
view the full question and answer

What is the difference between indigenous and native?
November 03, 2015 - What is the difference between indigenous and native?
view the full question and answer

Do bees visit cedar trees and other conifers for pollen?
November 30, 2013 - I was wondering if honey bees or native bees visit cedar trees for pollen? and what about other conifers?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.