Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Tuesday - November 05, 2013

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Fasciated Texas mountain laurel
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I've noticed some strange things hanging off some of the purple mountain laurels in my area. They hang low, and look almost like large, dangling trumpet flowers, but are flat, and have little bumps on them. They are not part of a vine or anything, but are actually attached to and part of the purple mountain laurel tree itself. I don't recall seeing these things on these trees before. Can you tell me what they are and/or what function they serve?

ANSWER:

The growths that you are seeing are called fasciations.  Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) seems particulary susceptible to this growth anomaly.  Here is a discussion about fasciation from a recent question to Mr. Smarty Plants.  They aren't harmful to the tree—just fascinating fasciations!

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Control of live oak suckers by cutting
July 23, 2007 - How do I control the Live Oak root suckers? At the moment we are cutting them as they come out of the ground.
view the full question and answer

Why is my weeping willow looking so bad?
June 15, 2009 - My weeping willow suddenly up and looked like it died Yellow leaves dried up and dropping off It is planted in what is called "Wet lands" Clay soil water wet Just looks like it is dying
view the full question and answer

Texas Mountain Laurel oozing sap in Spicewood, TX.
July 05, 2012 - We have a Texas mountain laurel that seems to be sweating. Oozing sap with no apparent signs of any type of bore holes, or holes made from any birds.
view the full question and answer

Loss of bloom on Fremontodendron californicum in California
June 11, 2009 - The flowers on my Flannel Bush all died at once I have noticed a sappy substance at the base of the trunk. There are still some flowers on bush but most are dead. It has been blooming since Feb. Is ...
view the full question and answer

Red spider mites in native bluebonnets in Austin
April 02, 2008 - What would you do if the WFC bluebonnets developed a bad case of red spider mites? That is what has happened to many of mine here in Austin. I noticed them the other day and I must have been asleep be...
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.