geophyte criteria

Lee Poulsen
Fri, 02 Sep 2005 09:54:45 PDT
I know this discussion keeps coming up over and over again. I have two 
major reasons why I don't think it is or should be an issue.

One is that as Bernie worded it, there seem to be a number of plants 
that "look as if [they] 'should' be a geophyte." I think most of us 
tend to look at all the species in several of the big geophyte 
families, whether or not the species in question is itself a geophyte, 
as if they were at minimum "honorary" geophytes. I'm not a botanist and 
not a full-blooded enough hobbyist to know whether *all* amaryllids, 
for example, are geophytic. But it seems that merely by saying 
'amaryllid' we presume it is a geophyte. (And as additional "proof" for 
my reason #1: The converse seems to be that many of us on any of the 
bulb lists seem disinclined to discuss those geophytes that don't fall 
into one of the major geophytically full plant families, in particular 
if they are not monocots and if that family isn't known for producing 
many geophytic species.)

The other is that, compared to people on many of the other plant lists, 
as a group, geophytophiliacs and -maniacs seem to be inordinately 
knowledgeable, as well as growers of, just about every other kind of 
plant as well. So if some questionable non-geophytes creep into the 
discussions or onto the wiki, it seems only a natural by-product of the 
type of plant grower who loves "bulbs". I'd almost expect it now. Even 
the fact that we have people like Alberto who _can_ instantly tells us 
if something is technically a geophyte or not is just a case in point 
of what I'm saying.


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

On Sep 2, 2005, at 8:38 AM, Ernie O'Byrne wrote:
> So, where is the border line; or is it a continuum? Is it because the
> Scoliopus has simple roots? So Tropaeolum speciosum would be a geophyte
> because it has, what, rhizomes? So does that mean that everything with
> rhizomes is subject to discussion on this list? What about grasses 
> having
> rhizomes? Seems that whatever definition one could pick for "geophyte" 
> there
> could always be found exceptions that we would like to include or 
> exclude
> from discussion on the list.
> Scoliopus looks as if it "should" be a geophyte, if it, indeed, is 
> not, so I
> am not offended if it is discussed. Don't misunderstand, though. 
> Alberto was
> probably not offended, either, but just bringing up an interesting 
> point.

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