Fasciated (mutated) thistle flower bud unopened

Daily Walk in Difficult Times 78

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There are lots of thistles growing in the rough field by the path to Charminster. I thought a few of the plants had an odd shape. Closer inspection revealed that that some of the stems which should be separate were joined together in a flat strap-like form, and instead of terminating with individual flower buds there was one massive contorted flower head with all the flowers merged into intricate and differing shapes. None of the ones I saw were blooming yet but I guess they will look spectacular when they open. Should look very special. Apparently this is a fairly common type of mutation called fasciation.  Andy Finnegan has also observed them over in Hampshire and has written a good post about the phenomenon.

9 Replies to “Daily Walk in Difficult Times 78”

  1. The ones I am watching seemed to take forever to have the flowers showing any colour they just started to come out last week but only the fascinated flower think they will all look fantastic when the side flowers also start to open. Think the Goldfinches will have a field-day.

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  2. I was wondering if the flowers would all come out at once or whether they would open and die at different times. I have a feeling that the flowers may not last long. So I will be paying frequent visits to the thistles so I don’t miss anything. You are right about them providing a feast for the birds.

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