Texas Parks & Wildlife Shares Dr. Seuss-Looking Plant – or What’s Known as a Wool Sower Gall
Texas Parks and Wildlife loves to share unique finds within the State Parks of Texas and their latest Facebook post shares a photo that looks straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.
Posted on Tuesday, Ranger Steve came across the pink polka-dot plant in Atlanta State Park located in Northeast Texas. While it looks appetizing, TPWD says it's definitely not something you want to bring close to your face.
According to TPWD and Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, this is a wool sower gall - essentially a home for the larvae of cynipid wasps. The wool sower gall acts as an incubator.
The wool sower gall wasp lays its eggs in oak trees - in this particular case a white oak. The gall is formed when the eggs hatch - usually in the spring - as it becomes a form of both food and protection for the wasp larvae. The secretions of the baby wasps or larvae actually accelerate the growth of cells in the plant. So don't mess with 'em!
Cynipid wasps do not sting humans, reads the Sacramento Bee. Check out the footage of larvae chowing down inside a wool sower gall under a microscope.