Mark at Magdalen's picture

Strange Field Scabious flowers

Whilst on holiday in Gower I came across a small population of field scabious with deformed flower heads (see Can anyone tell me more about this type of aberration, how widespread is it and is it the result of disease or infection?



steve_t's picture


These types of flower malformations are called Phyllody and are usually caused by viruses or phytoplasma (a group of bacteria infecting the phloem of plants). This wikipedia page give more information about the condition.


Rachy Ramone's picture


What a great word!

Much better than Phyllody, which sounds so much like BillOddy that I tend to visualise the problem as a flower with a round, bumbling growth on it.

Thanks to both of you for reminding me of this phenomenon, and for adding a new word to my botanical vocab!

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:

lavateraguy's picture

Presumably the inflorescence of the rose plantain ...

... (a form of Plantago major) is a genetically caused instance.