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8 messages
20/06/2012 at 15:48

I've attached some picture of my foxglove. It's perfectly normal except for the top flower of each stem which looks like a fussion of multiple flowers. Any ideas what has happened to it? Is it worth saving the seed?

20/06/2012 at 16:23

The seed should be fine to save.

20/06/2012 at 19:23

cool word "fasciation" you learn somthing new everyday.

20/06/2012 at 20:41

I had a spectacular example of this the other year, and I saved the seed and sowed it to see what, if anything, would happen.

All the plants from the saved seeds have either had mis-shapen flowers (rather attractive, but not the traditional bell shape) or the top of the stem has had one extra large flower over a spire of normal flowers.

This suggests to me that it is not damage to the growing tip (which I had believed was most likely the case) but that there is some inherent genetic problem.

Mind you, this was not a truly scientific experiment, just a one off.  But I am not so convinced about the external damage explanation as I used to be.  It probably would need a boffin experiment to be conclusive.  And I'm not a boffin

20/06/2012 at 22:53

A friend of nine had one of these odd foxgloves come up on her garden - in her case the top flower was much larger than the others and faced straight forward instead of hanging down. We split the seeds between us - every one of them came up normal

So, perhaps there are two possible causes for these odd flowers - damage, as presumably in my case, and genetic flaw as in yours, Shrinking Violet?

20/06/2012 at 22:55

That should be "a friend of mine".

20/06/2012 at 23:13

I suspect you're right Alina.  It must depend on the strength of the flawed gene as to whether or not the problem is repeated down the generations.  I think I'll see if the mis-shapen flowers set seed, save that and see what happens.

Of course, this won't prove anything one way or another, since it will probably be cross-fertilised from nearby "normal" flowers.  But I shall be interested to discover what results.

btw if I can find it and work out how to post it, I'll try to look up the original photograph.  (It may have been lost on my previous laptop though).



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