Monday, August 13, 2012
These are two inflorescences from the same white clover Trifolium repens plant, growing in the cliffs near Hawthorn Dene on the Durham coast.
On the left, the normal inflorescence.
The inflorescence on the right has been infected with a strange bacterium-like microorganism called a phytoplasma, which causes the flowers to revert to leaf-like structures - a phenomenon known as phyllody. The disease is transmitted between plants by sap-sucking insects.