Bulb stems

P. C. Andrews pcamusa@hotmail.com
Thu, 21 Aug 2008 17:41:12 PDT
Catching up on PBS emails, I've been following the excellent thread on bulbs vs corms, etc. 
Among the insights I got was this one from Jim McKenny.

"But where is the stem tissue component in bulbs? The stem tissue component
in bulbs is the so-called basal plate. This basal plate is the true
perennial stem of the bulb. Along this true perennial stem occur the buds
surrounded by succulent modified leaves which we call bulbs."

I'd been puzzling over my hymenocallis (http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/files/…)which appear to extend their basal plates to push them higher in the dunes as sand builds up.  Some of the extensions are over 3 feet in length and have a couple more feet below that is withered.  
But if I think of these as stems pushing the buds up towards the surface its at least aesthetically satisfying. Hymenocallis on underground stems.
I really should have taken that Botany class back in college.

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