So What is This?

I found a goldenrod plant growing near our machine shed.  It has a strange growth pattern.

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The leaves form an abnormal bunch–the one on the right is sort of a “pure” abnormality, the one on the left, while it has flowers, also has an abnormal growth pattern.

This same plant had about four of these growths, and they have white centers.

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My guess?  I think the abnormal growth is a gall caused by a fungus, and that the white powder is fungal spores–a pseudo flower which disperses the fungal spores.

Does anyone know for sure?

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About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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