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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.

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

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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!

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Tuesday - July 01, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Tan, rough, fan-shaped growth on mountain laurels
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

A tan rough fan-shaped "something" is growing at the end of the mountain laurel branch where the flowers would be .. what is it and can it harm the plant?

ANSWER:

The growths that you are seeing are called fasciations.  Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) seems particularly 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

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