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I give up; what are these?
Location: Monterey Park, CA
December 1, 2010 10:48 pm
Hello,
I’ve looked high & low on the internet in my attempt to figure out what these are but I give up. I imagine they are eggs. By naked eye I thought each black ”raspberry” to be an individual egg, but now that I look at my photos they look a bit more intricate than that.
They were found on the back of chrysanthemum leaves on a flower arrangement today. I am very curious to know what they belong to.
Signature: joAnn

Fern Spores

Hi JoAnn,
We have not had any luck with a conclusive identification, but we do not believe these spore-like things are insect related.  Rather, we believe they may be the spores of some type of Fungus, but we would eagerly welcome assistance from our readership.  We found a site dedicated to Chrysanthemum Diseases and Insect Pests an American Gardening online book page on Chrysanthemum rust, and a Chrysanthemum Plant Health Problems page, but nothing seems to exactly match your photographs.  Whatever they are, they are so evenly distributed.

Fern Spores

Correction:  Fern Spores
Those are the mature spore capsules of the plant itself, which is a fern, not a chrysanthemum leaf. You mentioned it was from an arrangement, so I’m guessing the florist added them to give the arrangement volume, since ferns are quit inexpensive and hardy.If you touch them you’ll get the black dust-like spores on your fingers, but I’ve never heard of anyone having any adverse reactions to them. They may fall off the leaf and make your table dusty though.
Giorgana

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for the identification. Ironically, I had just photographed it again as your email came in. I was observing that nothing had hatched but there was now a fine black dust in the container I put the leaves in. I then started to think spores but never did I think they were a part of the plant. My guess was more along the lines of a fungus or something parasitic.
As for the flower arrangement, it didn’t occur to me that what I has was something other than chrysanthemum leaves!
Again, thank you very much for the ID on this. Now I’m going to try to propagate fern :)
Have a nice weekend.
joAnn

Ed. Note: We hope joAnn becomes a successful entrepreneur of cultivated ferns.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination