Linear Fasciation of Mexican Hat, Ratibida columnaris (Asteraceae)
Photo - Troney Toler
Fasciation is a Latin word (Fascia) that translates to "to fuse". Fasciation seems to be the result of internal influences such as hormonal imbalance, genetic mutation, genetic predisposition, or external influences such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, insects, mites, frost, and/or physical damage. There are several types of Fasciation. Linear Fasciation, as illustrated in the photograph above, is characterized by multiple stocks fused together to form a single flat wide distorted stock. The example shown also exhibits a multi-head blossom and petals.
This particular photograph of the common named plant (Fig A) Mexican Hat, or more specifically Ratibida columnaris (Asteraceae), was taken in 2007 just off HWY 287 around the River Road, Mobley Road area of Amarillo, Texas. It exhibits the thick flat ribbon stem configuration and multiple head or bloom configuration. Compare to the graphic (Fig B) below which was growing only a few feet away.
Fasciation: Fascinating distortions of the plant world
Curtis E. Swift, Ph.D., Colorado State University Extension
More Fascinating Fasciation!
B. Rosie Lerner, Purdue Extension Consumer Horticulturist, Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Purdue University
Photo and text - Troney Toler