Odd branch of willow growing flat. Mutation or parasite?
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From Wiki: 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.
Great example, have only seen it once in the UK, in an Ash tree. Quite common in cacti, sought after by collectors.
I spotted it on Rosebay Willowherb in the 1970s and often pondered over what causes it. It could also be caused by frost.
Lat/Lng: 54.211, -0.3036
OS grid ref: TA107808