Saturday, January 14, 2012

Underground




































This is a lesser celandine Ficaria verna plant that was growing in our garden, which has already produced an amazing network of new roots. While we wait for new growth to appear above the soil surface in spring, there's a lot happening underground, out of sight . Once new growth begins in spring - even while the first new leaf is beginning to unfold - underground roots are making vigorous new growth. If you want to control the buttercups in your garden, now is the time to do it - don't waiting until spring, when they'll have produced very large root systems. 
























Lesser celandine survives the winter as a cluster of teardrop-shaped root tubers, filled with starch, and its this energy store that's used for new root growth, even before the new leaves become functional.


You can find more on the beautiful internal structure of roots here .....


.... and more on hidden characteristics of lesser celandine flowers here.

9 comments:

  1. What a fantastic blog you have here. I'm almost tempted to abandon mine straight away.

    Toffeeapple, who comments regularly on my blog,
    http://looseandleafy.blogspot.com/
    suggested I came to have a look. Wish I had known about it before.

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  2. I was really surprised by how extensive it was Keith...

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  3. Hello Lucy, thanks for visiting and for your kind comments...... delighted to make the digital acquaintance of a fellow ivy enthusiast....

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  4. Isn't that and amazing photo? I shall follow your links tomorrow. Good to see that Lucy has arrived!

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  5. Amazing shots! Instead of the tubers surviving the winter I think they are adapted to aestivation. Any traces of the leaves is gone by the end of May in my garden and the tubers carpet the floor and are the sole surviving part of the plant during the summer.

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    1. I think you must be right Blackbird. The tetraploid celandines (which are the ones that mostly grow in my garden) also produce bulbils in their leaf axils and they travel around on muddy boots - which is why I have celandines all over my garden too. I've noticed that the leaves tend to be infested with a rust fungus after flowering - must take a close look at that this spring....

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    2. I must have tetraploids too. They have these bulbils in the leaves and have also spread quite a bit. They cheer me up though and I love the green carpet of their leaves covering the floor, come the summer, something else replaces them and only now I realise they are coming up and are still there.

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  6. Thanks for your kind comments via Lucy's blog, toffeeapple...

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