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Re: Wierd Increases

ELaborde@aol.com wrote:
> I just
> took a picture this week of  SOMERSAULT (Ghio 95) for the same reason; it is
> so cute! it has two mother rhizomes like this \ /, but a bit more opened, and
> 5/6 'crab legs' on each side of each rhizome, which makes 22 increases! They
> really look like crabs!

Bill Shear wrote:
> 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
> irises.
> 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."

Interesting. Thanks. I have seen pictures of "Witches Brooms" but didn't
connect the idea. I am almost positive that in at least one case, this
occurred at the point of the previous bloom stalk. 

Do you have any recollection if the increases on the fascianted irises
you saw turned out to be genetically changed? Would it be better to thin
them, or perhaps cut them back completely so the energy could go to the
proper increases (also present on the plant)?

John                     | "There be dragons here"
                         |  Annotation used by ancient cartographers
                         |  to indicate the edge of the known world.

John Jones, jijones@ix.netcom.com
Fremont CA, USDA zone 8/9 (coastal, bay) 
Max high 95F/35C, Min Low 28F/-2C average 10 days each
Heavy clay base for my raised beds.

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