‘Fascination’ at VanDusen Botanical Garden!

2021-12-31 Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden

Fasciation is a genetic mutation which causes a hormonal imbalance in the growing tip of plants that can visibly affect the stems, flowers or fruits.

While there are some underlying conditions that can prompt fasciation, the occurrence is generally random. Dramatic fluctuations in temperature, plant damage from insects or animals (gardeners too!), and nutritional issues are just some examples of factors that may play a triggering role.The effects of fasciation can be obvious or subtle, and are generally not an indication of sick or unhealthy plants. The effects are often viewed as desirable and as such, growers attempt to preserve them in plant propagation and cultivation (Cockscomb Celosia as an example)

It has been observed in more than 100 plant families and is quite commonly seen around the garden in willows, foxgloves and forsythia. Pictured here is a Mediterranean spurge (Euphorbia characias).