For the discussion of topics related to the conservation, cultivation, propagation and exhibition of cacti & other succulents only.
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Difficult to look at them and think they are related to the roundy sort.
How do the growers make them go wonky like that? I read somewhere that they give normal plants too much fertiliser or something like that?
NB. Anyone failing to provide a sensible name for me to address them will be called, or referred to, as Fred.
> Difficult to look at them and think they are related to the
> roundy sort.
> How do the growers make them go wonky like that? I read
> somewhere that they give normal plants too much fertiliser or
> something like that?
Nobody really knows, as nobody can actually MAKE them go wonky like that...
The growing point or apical meristem apparently mutates from a single growing point and becomes a continuous line of growing points, which can so alter the appearance of the plant as to make it appear to be something else altogether, as you have noticed. There are various theories as to why this happens, such as injury to the growing point for example, but to me that explanation does not work...
This type of growth seems to occur spontaneously at almost any growth stage of the plant, and is usually propagated by slicing off a piece of the crest and grafting it to a suitable rootstock. Some individual plants will have a higher percentage of crests in their seedlings than other plants, so perhaps there may exist some genetic predisposition to cresting in some plants, or maybe there is some agent like a virus involved.
Cresting is also common in some types of flower spikes such as Celosia and Fire Spike (Odontonema sp.) to name just a few.
Cristate growth occurs naturally on many different types of plants, but for some reason it is more common on cacti and succulents than on most other plant types.