Lee Poulsen
Mon, 20 Jun 2005 11:17:54 PDT
On Jun 20, 2005, at 7:57 AM, Alberto Castillo wrote:

> Dear Mary Sue:
>                     ... Doryanthes ... are trees, shrubs or subshrubs. 
> They are not geophytes (bulbs) at all. ...
> Regards
> Alberto


Jim Lycos on the Australian Bulb Images list wrote the following:
"Doryanthes excelsa  is a remarkable bulbous/rhizomous monocot found in 
the Sydney region. Doryanthes excelsa is a monogeneric monocot 
initially classified in the family Amaryllidaceae subfamily Agavaceae. 
It has a shortened rhizome and closely packed evergreen bulbs that 
arise from the fleshy rootstock and give rise to additional plants 
clustered around the mother plant.  Recent genetic data has taken it  
out of the family Agavaceae and placed it into its own family 
Doryanthaceae - with close links to Liliaceae."

If Doryanthes is both a rhizome and forms bulbs off the rootstock, 
wouldn't it be a true geophyte?

As for Beschornerias, they remind me of Manfredas a little bit. And 
Manfredas, which seem to only have a thickened underground root like a 
carrot are related to both Agaves, which I don't think are geophytes, 
and Polianthes, which are geophytes. So I've come to think of the 
non-geophyte relatives of the main geophyte families as being honorary 
geophytes since they look like and grow like their geophyte relatives. 
I grow them all together. (Aren't there a number of non-geophytic 

And then there are the dicot geophytes, and a few monocot geophytes, 
that we don't seem to think of as geophytes in this group. Or at least 
we think of them secondarily, and discuss them far less, and it takes a 
lot longer before photos of them are uploaded to the wiki than the 
monocot geophytes. Plants such as dahlias, achimenes, what are sold as 
gloxinias here in the states, and even things such as cannas, bananas, 
potatoes, gingers, sweet potatoes, etc.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena area, California, USDA Zone 9-10

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