Saturday, 3 October 2020

Fasciation: let's add Buddliea to the list!

 I've written about this phenomenon before, a couple of times: first I found it on Forsythia, Summer Jasmine  and Hibiscus:  and, quite recently, on Bindweed.

Then, just the other day, look what I found, on the Buddleia in my own front garden!

The stems of Buddleia are normally round, but look at this one, it appears to have been ironed.

To remind you, fasciation is a mutation which crops up from time to time: usually it affects stems, like this one, causing them to grow flat, instead of round.

Sometimes it get the flower instead, leading to some very weird and other-worldly distortions... to see what I mean, just put the words "fasciation flower" into a search engine, and look at images.

Creepy, eh?

But on stems, it just turns them into these flattened forms.

This - right - is the same piece of stem, turned on its side to show you how thin it is. 

It doesn't harm the plant - you'd never know it was there,  unless you looked closely. It appears as a spontaneous mutation, and there is no known cause for it - or, should I say, there are many theories and possibilities, as to what prompts this mutation, but no-one knows for sure. 

It's not infectious, it's not harmful, and it if appears one year, it will not necessarily ever appear on the same plant in further years.

So if you encounter it, there is no need to scream and run in circles: just enjoy the weirdness!

And if you find it on something other than my list of affected plants, ie Forsythia, Summer Jasmine, Hibiscus, Bindweed, and now Buddleia, then do please send me a photo!


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