Honestly, you go for months on end without seeing a single example of this phenomenon (especially if you particularly want to find one, to show it to your current Trainee...) and then you get two in a fortnight!
I wrote about fasciation - a naturally-occurring mutation which affects plants cosmetically - just the other day, when I found a rose with a handful of teeny tiny roses growing inside the flower.
Then, looking back through my un-sorted photos (oops, I do try to sort them as soon as I upload them, but it's been a busy month...), I remembered that I recently found this weird mutation on Asparagus, of all things!
Here it is - at first sight, I thought it was just a rather wrinkled, shrivelled stem:
On the left - a normal piece of Asparagus.
On the right - the fasciated one.
OK, I can hear you saying, it doesn't look all that peculiar, why the big fuss? Well, if I turn the fasciated one sideways....
,,, you can see that it is utterly flattened.
How weird is that? I was working in a very large Asparagus patch, and this was the only stem which I found to be distorted.
There's no rhyme or reason behind it, apparently: it's just a spontaneous mutation, which pops up, manifests itself, and then might go away and not be seen again for years.
It doesn't hurt the plant, other than maybe damaging its feelings, somewhat ("no-one will want to eat me!" cries the affected stem): it is not infectious, it won't spread: and it may well never manifest on this particular plant, ever again.
Here's a close-up of the affected stem:
Fascinating, isn't it?
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