Field of Science

Fungal fruit mummies

While having dinner and drinks with friends, TPP was shown this image, on a little cell phone screen, and asked, "What is this?"  This question has been asked, and answered, before, but at the time the name of the fungus would not pop out of the memory banks.  These are fungal fruit mummies, and when first you see such "fruit" they do look quite strange.  They have been totally parasitized.  The organism that does this is Taphrina pruni.  The problem here is that it is uncertain what the fruit is supposed to be, and the picture was taken in San Diego, so that doesn't limit things very much what with all the exotics that grow there.  The tree certainly looks like a Prunus, a plum perphaps, but those ain't plums no more. No, it can't be a plum with the floral remnants at the end characteristic of Maloideae.  Hmm.  Second guess, a quince, Cydonia, or some sort of Asian member of the Rose family?  Anyone got a better suggestion?  

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