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Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

Question: I would like to ask for your help in identifying a strange growth on Texas Mountain Laurel. It is silvery-gray with spore like bumps. It grows from the stem ? a round, pencil-size extension that flares like a skirt. Some appeared shortly after flowering.

Answer: The Mountain Laurel doesn't bloom for three reasons.

1. Does not receive enough light in its present location

2. Had gray-colored string-like bloom structure pruned off in the fall or early spring. This refers to the racemes (string like structures) of dormant flower buds. The flared growth which you described perfectly is the fasciated growth at the end of the racemes. If these structures are removed in the summer or fall, bloom will not occur the following year. Also, your observation that these structures occur soon after bloom demonstrates the very narrow window of opportunity to prune Mountain Laurel without decreasing or eliminating the following year's bloom ? pruning must occur shortly after spring bloom has occurred.

3. Had the flowering structure damaged by a late freeze or hard freeze. At times, these "round, pencil-size extensions that flare like a skirt" have larger fasciated growths at the end of the racemes than normal. To prove that these Mountain Laurel structures do produce blooms, we have taken some images of their development.