The Spellbinding Phenomenon Of Flower Deformity Or Fasciation
If you've ever come across a flower stem that appears wide and flattened, spread, or fused, you've definitely come across flower deformity or fasciation which is a strange condition for flowers. Plant fasciation can result in massive, hideous stalks and blooms, or it can be subtle.
So, what precisely is fasciation in flowers? Fasciation literally translates as "banded together." Scientists are unsure what causes the malformation, but believe it is most likely due to a hormonal imbalance.
This imbalance might be produced by insects, illnesses, or physical injury to the plant, or it can be the product of a chance mutation.
Consider it a chance event.
It does not infect other plants or portions of the same plant.
Fasciated plants produce thick, frequently flattened branches with enormous blooms, or flower heads with significantly more flowers than is typical.
The level of flower deformity distortion in flowers is determined by the location of the damage.
A larger percentage of the plant is affected by fasciations close to the ground.
Is it possible to treat fasciation once it has been identified?
In a nutshell, no.
You can't fix fasciation on that particular stem once the damage has been done.
You may be able to clip out the problematic stems without harming the plant in some circumstances.
The good news is that perennials with fasciation may return to normal the next year, eliminating the need to remove the plant.
Fascination in plants isn't always a bad thing. A fan-tailed willow's fasciation makes it an appealing landscaping shrub.
Fasciation distortion of blooms, such as the celosia's cauliflower-like heads, is part of the plant's allure. Desirable fasciations include the crested saguaro cactus, fasciated Japanese cedar, beefsteak tomatoes, and broccoli.
While fasciation in flowers is normally a one-time occurrence, it can sometimes be passed down through the generations since it is carried in the plant's genetic makeup.
To maintain the unique traits of fasciated plants, they are frequently propagated vegetatively.
Hormonal abnormalities in meristematic (growth) cells of plants can produce fasciation. Genetic mutation can produce fasciation. The infections can cause fasciation. Many fasciated plants have tested negative for the bacterial phytopathogen Rhodococcus fascians, which has been shown to induce fasciation in sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) plants. [better source] So bacterial infection is not the sole cause.
Fasciation can also be caused by fungi, mites, insects, or chemicals.
Fasciation can be caused by damage to a plant's growth tip or by cold and frost. Peas and cockscomb Celosia are examples.
Fasciation is not contagious, although the bacteria that cause it can be transported from affected plants to others via wounds and water.
Some plants are developed and prized for their ability to create fasciation. Fasciation or flower deformity can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal, genetic, bacterial, fungal, viral, and environmental factors.