Evergreen shrub , various sizes,,,this example was off a 4′ bush
Glossy dark green leaf
Strangest flower we’ve seen yet?
I have seen this occasionally in the Upstate – it is a parasitic fungus, a rust, on Symplocos tinctoria – the sweetleaf or horse-sugar shrub. Not much is known about it, as you can find on searching for it on google. It is called Exobasidium symploci, and you can see another picture of it here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alan_cressler/8608681564/ I can normally not identify fungi, but this interested me as well when I saw it. It is only on Symplocos tinctoria.
There is another species, Exobasidium vaccinii, that can be found on wild azalea shrubs also, and maybe some other members of the heath family. That one can be seen here: http://www.invasive.org/series/viewseries.cfm?ser=162
so, not a flower – but interesting. I’m glad you asked!
-Steve Hill [Ph.D.] SCNPS