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Re: Wierd Increases

The wierd increase may be a case of what botanists call fasciation.  It
occurs when a normal growing point (apical meristem) becomes asymmetrical
because of damage, or for some reason is injured and splits into many new
growing points.  Fasciated cacti are popular amongst those who like such
things and are often called "crested".    I've seen this a few times in

There is a similar phenomonon known from woody plants, mostly trees, called
"witches broom."  This is actually a genetic change which results in slow,
congested growth.
Since the change is genetic, it can be permanent and many dwarf conifers
are selections taken first as cuttings from "witches brooms."

Best wishes, Bill
William A. Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943 USA
phone (804) 223-6172
FAX (804) 223-6374

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