Fasciation, sometimes known as 'Cresting', is an unusual phenomenon that occurs in plants.  It is a relatively rare condition that affects vascular plants by causing abnormal growth in the growing tip - known as the meristem. The abnormal growth is usually concentrated around a single point and causes any new growth produced to be flattened, ribbon-like, crested, or elaborately contorted.


Fasciation on Wyethia helianthoides

While this mutation can cause massive increases in weight and volume of the affected parts, the plant itself will continue to grow as per its normal lifecycle.

Any incidence of fasciation can be caused by one or more of the following factors factors:

Hormonal  - caused by hormonal imbalances in the meristematic cells.

Genetic - caused by random genetic mutation

Bacterial -  The bacteria Rhodococcus fascians has been shown to cause of fasciation in sweet peas but many fasciated plants have tested negative for the bacteria so this is not an exclusive cause.

Fungus - caused by specific fungal infections

Viral - caused by a specific virus

Environmental - caused by exposure to cold and frost

Physical damage - general damage to the growing tip for example - caused by biting insects or even chemical damage.

While fasciation itself  is not contagious, if it has been caused by bacterial infection then it can be spread from infected to healthy plants through contact with wounds on infected plants. However the bacterial infection is more commonly passed through the uptake of infected water through the root system.

While indeed rare, fasciation has now been recorded on over 100 plant species.


About the Author

The 'Seeds of Eaden' website is the brainchild of professional horticulturist and multi-award winning gardener Simon Eade. After six years of study; two years 'Retail Horticulture' at Hadlow College, then four years Commercial Horticulture at Greenwich University, Simon has worked in a number of 'fields' within the industry for over twenty years. Most notably, managing the prestigious Alexandra Palace garden centre in London. Since then he has become an internationally published writer, and author of the popular 'Garden of Eaden' blog.

Simon Eade is also a recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society's Banksian medal

You can contact the 'Seeds of Eaden' at