Fasciated daisies

Sean Edwards mzfses at MAIL1.MCC.AC.UK
Thu Jun 4 09:54:17 CDT 1998

Can anybody provide me with a lead on fasciated daisies Bellis
perennis? Or any good (available) source book on general plant

We have had several fasciated daisies brought into the Museum, over
the years, from lawns, waste ground, playing fields, etc. and a
cluster or reports this year, one with the peduncle 30mm wide.

Textbooks etc. report fasciation in a wide range of plants, including
Forsythia, Salix, Daphne, Celosia (sold commercially), Cichorium,
Taraxacum and several cactus species. Probably just about anything.

The (alleged) causes are various, and may be either genetic
(inheritable) or "somatic" (some damage or other event occurring
within the plant, and not inheritable). In this second category
falls everything from mechanical (e.g. lawn-mower blades, or an
aphid's stylus) or chemical damage (including pollution of course),
to infection (viral, bacterial, fungal). Even cosmic rays, no doubt!
Presumably infection can be transmitted to the next generation and
appear inheritable.

All the daisies had other, younger, normal heads, which rather
argues against an infection. Any genetic mutation would have to have
happened at or near the initiation of that particular flower head.
Three of the plants have assuredly not had herbicides or other
man-made chemicals, and mechanical damage such as
lawn-mower blades is hard to envisage at a stage when it might have
affected the growing point at the very base, embedded in the rosette.

I pollinated the flower head, half self-pollination, and half
pollinated with a normal daisy but there was no seed set.


sean.edwards at man.ac.uk
Sean R. Edwards, Keeper of Botany, The Manchester Museum,
Manchester University, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

'phone: +44 (0)161-275-2671/2;         fax: +44 (0)161-275-2676
web: http://www.man.ac.uk/museum/

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