The Q&A Archives: Deformed Purple Coneflower

Question: I've had purple coneflowers in my yard for several years now without any problems.This year in addition to my normal flowers, some of the stalks put up some strange looking lumpy yellow colored flower buds that never developed petals. The normal flowers look fine but intermingled are these flowers that I can best describe as
looking like "mutants". Any idea what they are and what I should do about them? I trimmed some of them back and they haven't grown back yet. My flowers have always seeded from the normal looking flowers so I'm not quite sure what to think.

Answer: Based on your description I would suspect a pollination problem (perhaps a sudden temperature variation or a rain storm for example) caused the deformities, especially since other flowers on the same plant are fine. However, if you suspect a genetic problem, or if certain plants seem more prone to the deformity than others, be sure to deadhead them so those particular plants don't set seed. Good luck with your coneflowers!

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