Fasciation - The Weird and Beautiful

Voluntown, CT

The phenomena is called 'fasciation'. If I understand this correctly, fasciated stems occur when multiple buds fuse together and form a flattened stem structure. It is a somatic event (in vegetative cells), not a genetic mutation that will be inherited through seeds. Has anyone over collected seeds to see if resulting plants also fasciate? Do any of you have photos of plant fasciation?

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Voluntown, CT

I forgot to add to this that it is a Buttercup from Connecticut. I have added another picture.

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Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Some families of plants are more prone to fasciation than others (Asteraceae comes to mind for one), so you might grow seeds from one and find that it exhibits fasciation from time to time just because of that. I don't think you'd ever end up with a situation where a plant only produces fasciated blooms either--even on plants that are prone to it you'll still get normal blooms too. So to me it's not like a variegated mutation that you can propagate and produce plants that will always exhibit that characteristic.

I think I have some pics of a fasciated Gerber daisy from a few years ago--I'll have to look for them later and I'll post them if I can find them.

Voluntown, CT

More pictures of would be fun to see. I'm curious if this type of group pattern ever occurs in trees. I've never seen an example of a tree. Search around the web after learn about my buttercup, I saw many daisies, lilies and cacti, never a deciduous or evergreen tree.

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

I was looking through some old photos and one of them reminded me of your thread. This is Sidalcea oregana growing in the Santa Rosa Mountains north of Winnemucca, Nevada. It caught my eye as we were driving by. I bet it was really spectacular a couple of weeks later when more of the flowers opened.

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Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

The other side of the same stem.

I have seen a photo of fasciated pussy willow. The photo is by Mike Swanson and can be found in a themepack for Windows 7. I don't know where else to find the photo, sorry.

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

This can occur in woody plants. I have a Willow (Salix sp.) in the yard with several fasciated stems.

I'll aim to take some pictures tomorrow and post them then.

L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

Are coxcombs grown from seed? Those are fasciated.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

About three years ago I had a lily with a fasciated stem. When it came up the following summer it was a single stem as it was last year as well. I have the feeling that an outside force caused the fasciation.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I had cabbage do that this last year. Looked strange for sure. Saved some seed may try them.

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Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Fasciation is just something that happens sometimes--some species of plants are more prone to it than others but it's not something you'll be able to reliably reproduce by growing seeds from a plant that did it (or even by asexual propagation like cuttings)

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Don't know who would want to reproduce them anyway! LOL!

Menifee, CA(Zone 9a)

'Cathy166' said: "I have the feeling that an outside force caused the fasciation."

I have volunteer sunflowers every year. Last year I began utilizing 'Liquid Gold' in my yard, and one of the first plants I tried it on was a bush sunflower. Well... it not only got deeper green leaves & grew healthier, but it soon put out flowers that were fused together. I think it was because the nitrogen in the 'L.G.' caused the buds to mature too fast, as there is normally some 'branchleting' & then a single bud/flower on each branchlet... But, in these cases no 'branchleting' occured, and the single flower produced appeared to be one of several fused flowers & mis-shapen. None of the other sunflowers did that, just a few that I poured 'L.G.' under. I stopped using the L.G. on it, and I think that it eventually had normal flowers. So...

So, I am wondering how many fasciated plant parts might be caused by excess nitrogen from some source...

(Or, is what I've described something other than 'fasciation'...?)

This message was edited Jun 14, 2012 10:50 AM

This message was edited Jun 14, 2012 10:51 AM

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Fused together flowers do sound like fasciation. I don't know if excess nitrogen encourages it or not, but it's certainly not necessary. I never fertilize my flowerbeds and I've had fasciated Gerbera daisies.

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

I found this information on the Royal Horticultural Society website:


Fasciation may be caused by:

Random genetic mutation or disruption.
The bacterium Rhodococcus fascians.
Viral infection.
Damage to the plants by frost, animals (including insects), chemical or mechanical injury even hoeing or forking around the plant have been implicated.

Menifee, CA(Zone 9a)

Thank You, 'Katlian'! (:

"Fasciation may be caused by: Damage to the plants by ...chemical -OR- mechanical injury...."

Mystery solved regarding my sunflowers! I guess the straight 'liquid gold' must have burned enough roots to cause the fasciation.

Maybe some of the other cases were caused by "hoeing or forking around the plant," or damage to the roots, also.

Easy to test just by stopping the activity, as I did when I with-held the 'liquid gold.'

(Carey) Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

There was a Mexican Hat in the lot behind our house that was fasciated. I didn't get a chance to see it bloom as the city mowed the lot before that could happen.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I don't know if your fertilizer was to blame--quite a few plants in the Asteraceae family (which sunflowers are a part of) are prone to fasciation via the random genetic mutation/disruption mechanism so even if you don't fertilize, disturb roots, etc they can still develop fasciated flowers.

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