Q: I have a ‘Sterling Star’ lily. Its stem is about 1″ wide and flat, not round. It has loads of flowers/buds. What causes this mutation? Will it continue to grow like this in years to come?
Q: I saw fantail willow used in an arrangement at the Southeastern Flower Show and have looked and looked for this plant. Can you give me some information on it?
A: The phenomenon of abnormally flattened stems is called “fasciation”. Many plants are known to occasionally produce fasciated limbs. The fasciation results from bacteria in some cases and genetic abnormalities in others.
It is difficult to predict whether the lily will fasciate again. Grow it and see what happens!
The scientific name for fantail willow is Salix sachalinensis ‘Sekka’. On this willow, almost all limbs are flattened.
You can try to root fresh cuttings of fantail willow you purchase at a florist or you can buy plants from Forestfarm ( www.forestfarm.com).