Answer: Sounds like Fasciation, caused by Corynebacterium fascians. This disease causes symptoms on chrysanthemums and sweet peas, too. The stems are shortened and thickened near the crown and develop aborted and misshapen leaves. The plants are dwarfed and form an abnormal number of buds. Remove the infected plants and some of the soil they were growing in. The organism stays in the soil for quite some time, so don't plant susceptible plants in that location.
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