Conjoined Daisy

Daisies joined at the hip.

My sister sent me this photo of a Gerbera daisy from her garden, in which two blooms of the daisy are attached to the same base. I’d been trying to find some information about what causes this and how common it is, but was coming up empty.  (I know — shocking! — 700 million hits from the term “two flowers attached to same base” and none of them about the topic at hand.) Then, I decided to get a little less than politically correct and Google “Siamese twin flowers.”

Bingo.

There still isn’t a lot of information about why this occurs, but it seems that Gerbera daisies are among the species more likely to sport conjoined flowers. A discussion of a two-headed echinacea over at the Garden web indicates that doubles like this can be caused by aster yellows, a disease that causes flowers and leaves to appear twisted. It also can be a natural mutation. Among vegetables, two-headed fruits happen more commonly. For fun photos of unusual plants and fruits, check out the Garden Mutants web site.