Artful Contortions (Phormium Leaf)

Artful Contortions (Phormium Leaf)

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

This is a leaf of a dwarf cultivar of NZ Flax (phormium tenax, probably ‘surfer’ or ‘elfin’). I found it in a clump of somewhat overgrown vegetation in our garden. Some of the leaves of that plant and several others were quite misshapen, but this one was the most extreme, and just beautiful. I think that the twists and twirls are the result of insect activity (maybe mites), interfering with the normal growth process. If anybody can shed more light on this, I would be very interested. (The whole curly part is about 3-4cm.)

An expert told me that this is an instance of fasciation — fascinating!

The images date back several years, and I have not seen much of this phenomenon in recent times. But I like the top picture a lot (it is a natural sepia toning anyway, so a good candidate for black and white), and the story is intriguing. Three more examples below.