Fungi Friday - GYMNOSPORANGIUM CLAVARIFORME

While preparing the pretty generic post about plants and insects in the coastal area, a post already published on Monday, I came across what looked like galls made by some wasps.

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This photograph practically entered the Monday's post, it was standing there while I was searching for data. When I found out that this is actually a fungal formation, all the shots about this subject were transferred in a new folder, and left for Friday.

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Gymnosporangium clavariiforme is a rust fungus that alternately infects junipers and hawthorns. In junipers, the primary hosts, G. clavariiforme produces a set of orange tentacle-like spore tubes called telial horns. These horns expand and have a jelly like consistency when wet. The spores are released and travel on the wind until they infect a hawthorn tree.
Since I have encountered only the growth on the hawthorn shrub, and never saw how it looks on juniper, this stage of the Gymnosporangium life won't be shown in this post. On its secondary hosts, the hawthorn ...

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... the fungus produces yellowish depressions on the leaves ... and infects the fruit, which then grows a multitude of tiny tubes, as you can see on photographs. These are the spore tubes. The spores must then infect a juniper to complete the life cycle.

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And so, because of my blogging on HIVE, I learned another amazing story from the natural world. If I didn't have to write a story to make the post deeper and more interesting, I would be still thinking that these are probably products of a wasp activity.

As always in these posts on HIVE, the photographs are my work.

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