What's a Bulb?, was Re: chocolate scented bulbs

boutin boutin@goldrush.com
Fri, 07 Jul 2006 10:46:09 PDT
Fuchsia decidua is an oddity which I saw years ago in the Sierra de Minatlan
in western Jalisco.  It has a few long, thick, spongy roots, not defined
into potato-like tubers, but still tuberous.  The thick roots are buried in
moss high up on the trunks of oaks.  The very colorful flowers mimic the
local mistletoes.  A tuberous plant but an epiphyte rather than a geophyte.
There are several epiphytic bulbs, so this shouldn't be too far off topic.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <totototo@telus.net>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, July 07, 2006 10:05 AM
Subject: [pbs] What's a Bulb?, was Re: chocolate scented bulbs

> On 7 Jul 06, at 14:31, Jacinda and Barry wrote:
> > Good question re: orchids and what counts as bulbs and what doesn't.
> > Have always wondered this myself!
> The terms "bulb", "tuber", "rhizome", and "corm" have rather precise
> definitions in botanical use, which you can unearth in any suitable
> reference.
> Some plants are, as you would expect, problematic: various cyclamen
> species have roots on different faces of their whatevers so the genus
> as a whole presents a problem when it comes to classifying their
> storage organs.
> And many plants have fleshy roots that are none of these: peonies,
> for example.
> The storage organs of some orchids are regularly referred to as
> "tubers", e.g. /Orchis/, but others are less certain. The "bulbs" of
> /Pleione/ are commonly referred to as "pseudobulbs".
> So in spite of nomenclatural precision by the botanists, there are,
> as usual, gray areas and unclassifiable structures to keep us all
> amused and alert.
> -- 
> Rodger Whitlock
> Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
> Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
> on beautiful Vancouver Island
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