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Deformed coneflowers should be pulled if they don't come around. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

What killed the mountain ash fruit? Ask Mother Nature

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Q: I have 16 coneflowers, but six of the flowers have deformed buds. Could something other than aster yellow be to blame for this problem?

A: Generally, no. However, I'm sure something obscure might do the same thing. If it continues to progress, get the coneflowers yanked out. You don't want the hoppers to be spreading this to other plants.

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