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the galls among us…

This morning on Mud Bay Dyke, my nose caught the sweet fragrance of wild roses in bloom , then,  as I am walking along with my four footed hairy partner, my eyes caught some red, small and furry balls on these rose bushes…Camera ready and shoot. The cutest little galls I have ever seen…  Most galls I have found are on twigs and branches and are just brown and woody.

Here are some interesting facts from all over the web and some of my books.

A GALL  (Cecidia),   is an abnormal bump or distorted growth on any part of a plant , roots, leaves, stems, flowers and fruit. Usually occurring in growing season,   from Spring to Early Summer. This growth is mainly caused by mites  and gall wasps. Most galls are harmless to their host.

For the gall their host is both habitat and food source. They are basically plant tumors. These galls form a deformity in developing  and dividing plants cells through irritation where the larvae feed and changes the structure of these cells.

A gall is produced by an insect larvae feeding on it.

There are over 1500 species of gall producers.

Galls are rich in tannins and resins which are derived from certain hosts,, these have been used in the manufacturing of inks and astringent ointments in dyes and tanning leathers

Galls only occur on growing tissue, in early Spring to Summer, they can be caused by nematodes (larvae), fungi, bacteria, viruses and insect activity.

Some larvae in galls have been used for fishing lure and survival food in Australia bush Coconut and Mulga apple .

The insect lays an egg inside the stem  or leaves of their host and  causes the plant to ward of the attack and encapsulate it! In the mean time the larvae is protected from the environment and predators! When it reaches maturity the insect will emerge from the gall.

Peach leaf curls is  due to a black sooty gall on it’s  branches, as is with plum trees, this will affect the growth and production of fruit if not controlled.

So, next time you venture out on a walk or hike , take a break and a  close look at any plant, good chance it has a deformity or gall somewhere on it,  take a pic and post it here on my site if you wish!!

Have fun and good luck!

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