In the world of flowers, you can find the good, the bad and the ugly. Most flowers are good; they are perfectly shaped and are beautiful works of art! Bad flowers aren’t perfect and have some unsightliness-usually the result of neglect or disease. Ugly flowers are rare, but they do exist. And their lack of good looks is usually caused by genetic mutation, such as fasciation.
Fasciation is a rare condition where the growth of a plant is concentrated in a single area. Fasciated plants develop flattened, elongated shoots; multiple stems that look like they have been fused together; or misshapen flower heads with numerous flowers. This weird phenomenon can occur in the stem, root, fruit or flower head.
Fasciation can be caused by genetic mutation, a bacteria or viral infection, or environmental factors. These plants are generally considered ugly, although some people may find them attractive. Some fasciated plants, such as “monstrosa” and “crisata” ferns and fantail willow, are propagated for their unusual forms and are considered highly collectable!
Fasciation is unpredictable, but not contagious. It will not spread to the other plants in the garden. It is usually limited to a single stem and is not subject to repeat occurrences, although some plants are more prone to the mutation. There are different types of fasciation. Ring fasciation, also known as “hen and chicks,” is a phenomenon where a ring of flowers is grown around a a normal, single flower head.
Affected shrubs and trees can be pruned out, if you prefer.