Monday, April 25, 2011

Captivating Fasciated Dandelion

Fasciated mutation of Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion)

I'll share a secret with you. I like dandelions. They are the bane of many a gardeners' existence, don't even say the word in front of turf specialists, but I find them absolutely captivating. I try to do my share of thinning the heard and removing as many from the yard as possible, but living next to one of the city parks, doesn't lend itself well to a winning battle.

While on the hunt this morning I found a dandelion displaying a mutation that I have seen on numerous other plants. This dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) was short. I almost missed it completely because it was long and thin and I was scanning for round yellow flowers or spiteful white puffs. The stem and the flowers all displayed the same fasciated mutation. The leaves were typical. The fasciated mutation causes a crest-shape growth habit, instead of typical (in this case round) growth. It can happen in any part of the plant. Hit the web to find details on the how, why, propagating possibilities and other fascinating details of this mutation.

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