Brit­tany Con­nell, via email

Gardening Australia - - MAILBOX -

I found this dou­ble-headed ger­bera on one stem. Is this a com­mon oc­cur­rence?

Jen­nifer Stack­house says

This looks to me like fas­ci­a­tion, as there are two stems fused be­low the dou­ble flower. It is prob­a­ble that the dam­age was done when the tiny buds were just de­vel­op­ing within the plant. Fas­ci­a­tion is caused by an ex­ter­nal fac­tor, such as mites or even her­bi­cide, which dam­ages the grow­ing point in the api­cal meris­tem. It is un­likely the plant it­self has any per­ma­nent dam­age, and the dou­ble flower head will prob­a­bly not oc­cur again.

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