Hymenocallis, Dunes. and Peduncles?.

P. C. Andrews pcamusa@hotmail.com
Mon, 25 Oct 2004 19:30:24 PDT
During the recent storms in the Bahamas (Frances and Jeanne) the dune at the 
front of our garden was cut back about 60', far past the part that contains 
evidence of human activity (glass and plastic).  Hundreds of Hymenocallis 
were carried off and deposited in various places.  While recovering what I 
could, I noticed a feature of the dune-grown bulbs that I had not read 
about.  They all had an extended peduncle (up to 12" in some cases) below 
the bulb, some with roots extending from this structure.  Because they had 
all been tumbled in the surf, all had been snapped off short.  When I looked 
at those still embedded in the edge of the remaining dune, the extensions 
were quite long but I didn't get a chance to dig deeply enough to ascertain 
the total length.  Some of these plants must be quite old given the depth 
they've climbed from.
I had always wondered how these plants managed to keep their bulbs a foot or 
so below the surface when the dune height can grow 6" or more per year.  
Hymenocallis growing on rocks, of course, have no extension and the bare 
bulbs rest directly on the rock.
Can anyone enlarge on this behavior for me?  What is the correct term for 
the extension?
Phil Andrews
Living in 5 but gardening in 9.

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