Re: [IGS] Fascination?


Dale,

I think what you're talking about is *fasciation*; a malformation of plants
where the stem or a branch becomes expanded into a flat ribbonlike shape as
though several stems were joined together lengthwise.  I've never had it on
geraniums or pelargoniums, but I've found it on digitalis.  Very strange
and odd.  Inquiry on Gardens-L brought an answer from Kay Lancaster that
told me what it was.  She said, if I remember correctly, that it can be
caused by a bacteria or by environmental conditions.  It's not something to
worry about, really.  In digitalis, it was no problem as they are basically
biennial.  In a plant that is perennial, you might want to remove the bits
that are affected.  I don't think it's "catching" as far as plants in close
proximity to the one affected.  I really don't know if you could even get a
stem affected by this to root...but it might be interesting to try.

I think Kay's conclusion was not to worry and either to remove the plant,
if it got on my nerves, or let it be and see what develops.  I left the
digitalis and that stem tried to flower, which was, again, most odd...but
interesting.

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
mtalt@clark.net
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
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----------
> From: DALE NEIL <JJCA95A@PRODIGY.COM>
> To: IGSROBIN@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU
> Subject: [IGS] Fascination?
> Date: Sunday, February 22, 1998 10:46 PM
>
> -- [ From: Dale Neil * EMC.Ver #2.5.3 ] --
>
> Hi All,
> Last summer I was noticing that there were growths forming at the base
> of some of my scented geraniums. I first thought that it was some kind
> of moss or lichen but as time went on, I discovered it was a smaller
> version of the parent plant. I thought it would grow out like side
> shoots but it hever has.
> Last week I picked up an older book written by Helen Van Pelt Wilson and
> discovered in one of the chapters that she describes a similar condition
> which she calls "Fascination". She says that the smaller growths can be
> scraped away from the parent plant without harming that plant. She goes
> on to say the condition is caused by a bacteria and recommended that all
> commercial growers destroy any plants affected.
> Does anyone have any experience with this condition? Does the condition
> live on in cuttings? What would the recommendation be to home growers in
> treating this condition? (It almost sounds more like a nuisance rather
> than a danger to me.)
> Thanks for any information you might have.
>
> Dale



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