Bulb Depth - Droppers and Risers

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Fri, 11 Nov 2011 10:25:32 PST
Dear Friends,

	The recent discussion on bulb depth reminded me a situation 
that I  was presented with earlier this year.

	First, we have had a good discussion of contractile roots, 
but this is not the situation here.

	Jim McK (I think) mentioned 'droppers' in discussing crocus. 
Just what is a dropper?  First what it look like. If some bulbs are 
planted too shallowly they will form something that looks like a 
stolon from the base of the corm and drop straight down or at an 
angle to develop a new bulb or corm at a lower depth. The structure 
of the dropper itself isn't much discussed, but I assume it is some 
extension of the basal plate and this extension responds to gravity 
and 'drops' until an optimum depth occurs.
	Over the years of PBS we have had a number of droppers mentioned.

	This fall I was sent pix of what appeared to be "risers"  in 
Lycoris radiata. It appeared that the bulb was planted much too deep 
and it had made a hefty stalk straight up from the basal plate, 
through the center of the bulb , then up about 5 inches to form an 
'identical bulb at a higher level. Both upper and lower bulbs had a 
similar size and shape, roots and foliage just emerging.

	I was asked if this was a dropper or what was happening. 
Although it had some of the features of a dropper, it didn't look 
right. In my experience a dropper will come from the side or bottom 
of the top bulb, go down and turn up to form a new bulb at a lower 
depth. This was two bulbs right on top of each other, there was no up 
turn of a dropper.

	I suspected that the original bulb was just planted way too 
deep since I knew that Lycoris prefer to grow very shallowly. I later 
learned that these bulbs were dug from a spot that had been altered 
by adding new soil and in fact were buried way too deep.

	This is the first time I had seen an actual 'riser'.

	Anyone else have experience with droppers or risers? 
	Best		Jim
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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