Monday, September 15, 2014

Whacky Echinacea

I see weird and wonderful things when it comes to plants.

How about this three in one bloom...

This patch of Echinacea has gone through the ringer. Drought stress, foot traffic and salt drift from both roadways and walkways close by.

Resulting in two smaller flowers coming straight out of the "cone" centre of the original bloom.

On this one, nearly a dozen flowers off shooting from one bloom. Crazy!!

I decided to leave them, to see whether they will grow any larger or set seed. Just intriguing to see and learn. A certain means to ponder.
Plants are incredible.
Update: A colleague of mine diagnosed what is happening to these Echinicea.  Aster yellows is what is causing this strange growth. It's a chronic, systemic plant disease caused by a bacterium-like organism called phytoplasma. It can be transferred around by small insects (leaf hoppers and mites). It's best to remove and destroy the entire plant, so that other Aster family species of plants close by don't get it.

Coooooool! Learning something new every day. That's why I love plants!

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