Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cresting

Stapelia variegata crest
I have always been drawn to the downtrodden, strange, and deformed.  The straggly puppy in the corner missing an ear would easily be my first choice.  When things go awry in the plant world, it's as if a new species has formed. What makes them bizarre, also makes them beautiful.  One manifestation of this is the crested succulent.  An arm or a branch decides to rebel and in doing so, becomes more attractive...and gets cut off and repotted!  
Aeonium arboreum crest


I don't completely understand why this happens.  Seems the more fleshy species are more prone, but I really don't need to know the scientific reasons.  

Here are a few of plants that have spontaneously crested in my garden.
Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy' crest

Echeveria 'Pappy's Rose' crest
Echium candicans crest
Not a succulent but I had to include this one.  

11 comments:

  1. Really other-worldly, the crests. I think I have only seen the stapelia crest from you - cannot be that common. Echium is really great. LT

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    1. Yeah, most of that Echium plant is deformed. A real oddity.

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    2. I remember it well from pics you showed in a previous life! LOL! One of those that stick with you, very impressive.

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  2. Cresting and monstrose forms come from genetic mutations that result naturally, or result from bacterial or viral infections. All growth points think they are the main growth point, and the weird forms result. I love them, too!

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    1. Great, simple, explanation. Thank you!

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  3. Great collection of crests Arid! All of your plants look beautiful!

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  4. That's exactly what my echium looks like! I came here by searching "weird fleshy growth echium" :)

    To be honest, it kind of creeps me out. I mean the plant is already bigger than me and now it sort of looks like it might be trying to come alive and perhaps eat me or my kitten...

    Thanks for the explanation, Marla!

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    1. Yeah, I agree, these deformed Echiums are very "other world." This plant did well for years but recently took a turn for the worse, so I removed it altogether. Crests were growing upon crests. I wish I had posted an updated photo!

      Good luck with your plant Luke!

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  5. Thank you for this post and the explanation by Maria. We walk at the Richmond (East Bay of San Francisco) Marina where there are many Echiums. We just saw one with a crest and were dumbfounded! Now I can sleep knowing what the heck!

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    1. I'm so behind on my Blog, but thank you for your comments! The echium crest didn't survive...curled in on itself.

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