Thursday 20 February 2014


Fasciation is something I was only vaguely aware of until I read about it in a post written by fellow-blogger Sara at Hilwards, last December. When fasciation occurs in a plant, a stem which is normally roughly cylindrical becomes flattened and ribbon-like. I had noticed some time ago that I have a good example of this in my flowering cherry tree (Prunus Autumnalis "Subhirtella"). In a recent spell of sunshine, I decided to take a closer look:

The affected twig starts off with a 360-degree contortion reminiscent of a pig's tail:

Having finally decided the direction in which it wishes to grow, it then heads off in a pattern that sees it gradually transform from cylindrical to ribbon-like, and increasing in diameter:

Somehow the twig still manages to produce flower buds:

So far, the twig is about 2 feet long, but presumably it is continuing to grow. I wonder how wide it will get?

In order to take my photos without looking up into the sun I had to take the kitchen step-ladder outside. This enabled me to see aspects of the cherry tree that I don't normally see, like this tiny "moss garden" nestling in the crook of a branch:

I think this is amply demonstrates the idea that if you only look at something from a distance you usually see just one thing, but when you look closer you see lots of other things as well!


  1. Interesting.... I've never seen this phenomenon.

  2. interesting behaviour..., i suppose it's one of many tantrums plants can show. I had one bakawali plant with stem twisting itself like a spring..., funny and yet marvellous to look at.

  3. I though all little boys liked to climb trees not use step=ladders. I love to get to see things close -up. I think taking photographs opens up a world that you would otherwise miss.

  4. It's particularly interesting to see it in a tree, where it will persist for more than one season. It will be intriguing to watch how it develops.

  5. Very interesting, Mark. Keep us posted if it gets huge. My imagination has already gotten it wide enough to build a tree house on!! Whoa!

  6. I have read about it but have never seen it happen in real life. Would you cut it out or are you planning to keep it?

    1. I'm certainly planning to leave it and see how it develops. I think it has been there for a couple of years already.

  7. Interesting subject, great shots.

  8. Fascinating. I wonder what causes it.

  9. Oh you are good - I'd have had my secateurs out and tidied that poor branch up in an instant!! Lovely close up photos, Mark - are you joining in the tree following meme promoted by Loose and Leafy? This tree would make a great subject!


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