Nature

Amazing ‘Dr. Seuss’-like Object Found by Texas Park Rangers

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“Ranger Steve made a cool discovery this morning!” the Atlanta State Park – Texas Parks and Wildlife Facebook page posted along with two photos, and they weren’t exaggerating. The photos depict a wool sower gall. The object looks like a plant from a Dr. Seuss world, but it’s actually the result of wasps laying eggs. “When the eggs hatch in spring, chemicals on the grubs stimulate the plant to produce this gall, which provides food and protection for the growing wasps,” the post explains. 

Lawn company Prestige wrote about galls on their website. They explain that galls don’t harm the plant they’re attached to, and they don’t need to be treated. In the case of the wool sower gall, they only grow specifically on White Oaks, and the spots can sometimes appear more brown than red. Either way, their fairy-tale-like appearance is much more attractive than the boringly bumpy Phylloxera gall on hickory that just looks like little mounds on a leaf. (Seen here.)

Texas Park Rangers are thrilled that so many people have shared and liked their post about the natural oddity that they’re planning a group hike with Ranger Steve to learn more about the gall and take a look at the puffball-like object in person.