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Mutant? cane on Irene Watts/Pink Gruss

Posted by pgraveolens Sonoma County (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 4, 12 at 18:54

So I'm out pruning IW/PG and spot a strange cane. Where the other canes are smooth and brownish, this cane is flattened with some random unpleasant grey thorns. Yet, up at the top it appears to be branching out and growing normally. The cane is quite light (I pruned it off) and is green mottled with brown. It's quite healthy. I've never seen a rose cane like this: we're talking very flat. Looking at it from its side, it's 1 inch wide by 1/4 inch tall.

She's been there for easily 10 years with no problems. There's an equally healthy Rita Sammons on one side, and a small-flowered, fragrant, bright pink foundling on the other. The foundling is lustier than Mae West, but prone to rust and downy mildew -- these don't deter her: for every cane that dies back, she sends out two or three in a most Gallica-like way.

Thoughts? Suspicions? Dark-of-the-moon hexes?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Mutant? cane on Irene Watts/Pink Gruss

Flat and ribbon-like?

If so, It's likely Fasciation, which I'm told can be triggered in otherwise normal roses by weird weather fluctuations.

Gaia knows, we have had our share of weird weather fluctuations this year.

Here's what Wikipedia says of it:
"Fasciation (or cresting) is a condition of plant growth in which the apical meristem, normally concentrated around a single point, producing approximately cylindrical tissue, becomes elongated perpendicularly to the direction of growth, producing flattened, ribbon-like, crested, or elaborately contorted tissue. The phenomenon may occur in the stem, root, fruit, or flower head.
Fasciation can be caused by a mutation in the meristematic cells, bacterial infection, mite or insect attack, or chemical or mechanical damage. Some plants may inherit the trait.
Fasciation is rare overall, but has been observed in at least a hundred different plant species, including members of Aloe, Celosia, Delphinium, Digitalis, Euphorbia, Forsythia, Primula, Acer, Prunus, Cannabis and many genera of Cactaceae (cactus) and Salix. Cresting results in undulating folds instead of the typical "arms" found on mature Saguaro cactus.[1] Some varieties of Celosia are raised especially for their dependably fasciated flower heads, for which they are called "cockscomb"."

Jeri in Coastal Ventura Co., SoCal

RE: Mutant? cane on Irene Watts/Pink Gruss

Weird weather, amen. This is intriguing. And yes, there does seem to be a cockade of stems at the top.

RE: Mutant? cane on Irene Watts/Pink Gruss

Very interesting. I can't remember what plant I saw it on, but I recently saw flat atypical canes while pruning. Lord knows we've have enough weird weather during the last year. I'll keep my eyes open. Jeri, thanks for the information!

RE: Mutant? cane on Irene Watts/Pink Gruss

aha, we see a lot of this on tropolaeum tricolour and a tall veronica called, confusingly, Fascination (which, I must assume, is some kind of pun as it gets these flattened stems every year). I have certainly seen it on an old white rambler at my horticultural college (up till then, I didn't think roses were affected). I think there is a genetic disposition in some plants - a number of heritage tomatoes get a sort of proliferation (which is a similar rampant growth) from cactiflora genes - although, let me make it clear before better educated GW members respond, this is all based on unscientific observation on my part and may have no veracity whatsoever. Interesting though, hey?

RE: Mutant? cane on Irene Watts/Pink Gruss

  • Posted by seil z6 MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 5, 12 at 14:33

I've had this happen once before too. I just removed the funny cane and the plant continued to grow normally from there on out. It's like instead of seperating into two or more canes somehow they just fused themselves together to form the one thick flat, ribbon like cane.

RE: Mutant? cane on Irene Watts/Pink Gruss

I've had lilies fasciate. They produce amazing amounts of bloom when that happens. I don't know if the same is true for roses.


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