Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Vignettes

There's a mutant in my garden.

Not my living room, but there is a plant in the background.

No, it's not Logan/Wolverine. I wish. Wouldn't it be nice to have that lovely hunk of muscled mutant manliness in your garden? I bet he can wield a mean shovel.

It's several fasciated branches on my Forsythia 'Fiesta.'

Fasciation is a relatively rare condition of abnormal growth in plants that results in flattened, ribbonlike, crested or elaborately distorted stems. It has several causes besides genetic mutation, it can also be caused by bacterial, fungal or viral infection. Apparently Forsythia is particularly prone to it.

Fasciation -- like fascination without the "N."

Total weirdness

Kind of looks like a gaping mouth with green teeth

What's with the purple color?

I've had these fasciated branches on my Forsythia 'Fiesta' for a few years now. I haven't known what to do with them. I vacillate between being intrigued and then repelled by them but don't really want to prune them off.

What would you do with them? For the most part the shrub looks normal. The fasciated branches are hidden at the back, and once the whole thing leafs out, it's not all that noticeable. It's kind of cool to have a freak of nature growing in my garden.

Keeping the weirdness hidden -- I know a few people like that. I might be one of them.

I could cope with having this mutant in my garden too. I bet he's a barrel of laughs.

 Anna at Flutter & Hum hosts Wednesday Vignette. Check out her post here.


  1. You have the most interesting mutants showing up. "What would you do with them?" This is a G rated blog, right? Oh, you meant the fasciated forsythia branches. They're kind of interesting and if they're out of sight once the shrub leafs out, I'd just leave them alone.

  2. Re: the fasciated forsythia branches...yuck. Fasciation and all the plant worlds similar distortions gross me out. Those other two mutants though. They can stay.

  3. Unlike Loree, I rather like the fasciated stems. My Senna bicapsularis has produced some, although interestingly I didn't notice any during its last bloom cycle. Perhaps the affected stems were pruned out. In the past, I've used them as a feature in flower arrangements.

  4. I find Loree's comment funny because I know she has at least one crested (i.e. fasciated) cactus, though it's a more moderate form of fasciation. Personally, I find fasciation fascinating, but if those shoots were at the front of the plant and detracted from its appearance I'd probably cut them off. Of course, then I'd dry them and put them on display for all to clearly see. I love a little dry humor.

  5. Alison, I would NEVER cut those off!!! That's a fascinating thing to have happen - I think they are super cool! And your comment about wielding a mean shovel made me crack up! Thank you for that!

  6. I like the forms in the first and last photos best. :)

    At the Huntington there are a whole bunch of Acacias planted in what they are now calling the "west entrance", and most of them had some fasciated stems. I was too creeped out to take a photo.

  7. The fasciated stems ( a new word for me, thanks!) are both cool and creepy!

  8. Cool look of the fascinated branches. Maybe you should prune all the normal branches and keep the shrub as an interesting oddity... I had a common foxglove produce a fascinated stem bearing a rose-like flower at the top, while the rest had the usual tubular dangling flowers. Freaky!


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