Below you will find a picture of the most incredible and unusual bluebonnet that I have ever seen. My best friend, Johnny Pickle, found this on his place just outside of Bellville,Texas. It is the most unusual plant thing I have ever seen. Now I know that bluebonnets often mutate. I have seen pure white ones. A “maroon” mutation is what allowed my friends at A&M to create the maroon and white variety. However, this one is not a color mutation. I don’t even know how to describe this. It looks like about ten stems fused together that then created one massive flower head. Truly incredible!
MYSTERY SOLVED- After writing this post, I sent the picture out to my friends in Extension at A&M According to my friends Cynthia Mueller and Doug Welsh, this is rare but not unheard of. In fact, this is the second photo like this they have seen this year. This bluebonnet is suffering from a condition called fasciation. Fasciation is literally translated to mean “bundling”. Fasciation is caused by some sort of stress like physical damage, hormonal imbalance, virus, bacteria, insects or drought. Now we had plenty of drought last year and that is probably what caused this.
Fasciation is very common in Celosia (cock’s comb) and those blooms are highly sought after. Since fasciation is not a genetic mutation, you cannot save these seeds and plan on getting the same thing next year.