CRISTATE AND MONSTROUS FORMS

Malformations may occur in all species of plants. Little is known of the origin of such abnormalities The phenomenon is referred to as fasciation.

The terminal or growing centre of a plant is composed of rapidly multiplying cells which constitute the meristem. In rare instances, a plant will develop meristems at a number of points on one stem, producing the phenomenon known as a monstrous form.

In other rare instances, the meristem widens into a line rather than a point, and this form is known as a cristate form or crest.

Insect damage to the growing centre may be one cause. Recent experiments have also proved thai radio-active soil usually causes fasciation.

Another phenomenon is that a monstrous oi cristate plant may suddenly again produce norma branches and shoots.

Such plants as Opunlia clavarioides cristata Opuntia cylindrica cristata, Cereus Peruvianas mon-strosus, Echinopsis tubiflora cristata, and Rebutic tmnuscula cristata are often seen in collections.

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