Beagle's picture

Blackthorn

Observed: 26th May 2012 By: Beagle
Friends of Childwall Woods and FieldsMerseyside BioBankThe Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and
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Blackthorn
Description:

Thorny shrub with powdery sloes growing on southern slopes of mount.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) interacts

Comments

GrizzledBadger's picture

Photo showing pocket Plum

Photo showing pocket Plum Galls of Taphrina sp.

Brock

Beagle's picture

Blackthorn/Pocket Plum

Am I right in thinking that T. prunus attacks the plums of Prunus spinosa and does this not mean then that the identification of the plant is right? Kind regards

Hugh

GrizzledBadger's picture

Sorry omitted my agreement on

Sorry omitted my agreement on i.d.

Brock

fungi's picture

fungi specific for a host plant

Taphrina pruni is known to grow on Prunus spinosa only. However, one should be rather sure about one identification to be fairly safe to deduct the other one. Fruits deformed in such ways by other Taphrina species and looking very similar can be found on various different Prunus species (plums, cherries etc).

fungi's picture

addition/correction

sorry, above should read

Taphrina pruni is known to grow on Prunus spinosa and a few other host species only. However,...

Beagle's picture

Good advice ...

Thanks for the advice; deducting one species' identity from another species can be mistaken, however I was fortunate to be in the company of other botanists who confirmed the ID. Kind regards

Hugh

fungi's picture

Parasites as Plant Taxonomists

Back in 1978 there was even a scientific symposium organized on the topic. Many fungal parasites are very specialized when it comes to their hosts, and such cases the fungus 'idientifies' the host species. However, more often it is done the other way round - when knowing the host one can look up lists of parasites known to grow on it which helps a lot to identfy the fungus. Nevertheless, unusual cases and record always are worth to be looked into furhter, as interesting new discoveries might be made.
Heidi

Beagle's picture

Host or parasite?

Heidi, this is interesting. Thanks and regards

Hugh