Bulb structure of Ungernia

boutin boutin@goldrush.com
Tue, 23 Dec 2003 19:48:22 PST
Jim,    There is a similar persistent bulb growth axis in the genus
Ledebouria.   A few L. species have remarkably thick, persistent, elongating
"bulb plates."  I am most familiar with the thinner persistent axis found in
L. socialis.

I grow about ten clones of L. socialis as houseplants, and most of these
multiply to such an extent as to hide the persistent bulb growth axis.  And
when taking one of these dense clumps apart it is easy to mistake these
persistent axes as rhizomes.  They can be branched, have roots, or bulbils
which have yet to become side branches or be dislodged.

In one clone these bulb stems  are 2-3 inches in length, 1/8 inch in
diameter,  with relatively long flexible internodes,  and persistent dry
bulb scale/leaf bases.  This form has fusiform (elongated) bulbs and the
stem axis extends up into the bulb.  The bulbs tend to sprawl because of the
flexible bulb stems.

Another clone with rounder bulbs has bulb stems about  1/4 inches in
diameter with very short internodes and enough strength to support their
terminal bulbs 1- 2 inches above surrounding offsets.  This one is almost
self-cleaning of old leaf bases.

I have not found a term for this type of persistent bulb stem.

 Happy Holidays to all.

Fred Boutin
Tuolumne, CA

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