Rotten apples

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Wednesday 4 August 2010 19:03

Thanks to Peter Whitcomb for the gen on this species, this is the fruit and flowers of the bizzare alien, Thorn-apple. I have never seen this before, although it's not meant to be all that infrequent on waste ground and disturbed areas, exactly where we were on the edge of Hollingbury Golf Course. There was also a hole suite of strange looking alien grasses and goosefoots as well as Love-in-a-mist, Californian Poppy, Blue Fleabane and Blue Sow-thistle. More aliens than an episode of Star Trek!
These photos are of something even stranger, a fasciated Rosebay Willowherb. Found by Ian Whitcomb and shown to me by Peter this is quite an oddity, towards the top of the stem, the stem was over 8 mm broad by about 2 mm thick with the fruits projecting in  only one plane. The flower head was also different, being highly congested. Not sure what causes this but it's very unusual.

2 Response to "Rotten apples"

Sarah Patton Says:

I've always thought it was bacterial, but according to the the RHS there are several causes - * 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.

Graeme Lyons Says:

Ha ha, so basically, anything that can happen to a plant! I'm still none the wiser, but thanks! Nice Roach by the way.

Post a Comment

Nature Blog Network