A picture of a ‘fanned’ (or ‘fan-topped’) pineapple popped up online this week. Fasciation can occur in most plants and can be caused by stress or by genetic and hormonal factors.
Ynna Hernandez-Europa, a biology student at Queensland University of Technology, received the multi-headed pineapple from its Sunshine Coast grower. The freaky fruit is from the pineapple farm owned by brothers Colin and Mark Harris in Wamuran, north of Brisbane.
The pair have been in the pineapple production business for decades, with their father having owned a farm, too.
Ynna told abc.net.au: "We had a barbecue for my dad's birthday. I commented on how cool the pineapple looked and Colin was happy to let me keep it." She and her classmates tried theorising what had caused the misshapen fruit, before taking to Reddit for more answers.
Image: Ynna Hernandez-Europa
Fellow biology student Sandie McEwan said: "We had a couple of theories about what mutation that would be and I posted it to Reddit hoping that someone would let us know, and a lot of people agreed that they thought it was a mutation called fasciation."
The students found out that fasciation can occur in all plants, with distortion growing at the stem or plant base then influencing the flowering shape.