elongated prophyll in Crocus goulimyi

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@starpower.net
Sat, 05 Nov 2005 04:52:39 PST
Thanks, Dave. No, what we see in Colchicum is not the same. The things we
see in Colchicum (those yellowish-white open tubes with a slit on the side
which sometimes stick up above ground and from which both the flowers and
eventually leaves come) are sometimes called the sheath and really
correspond to what are called cataphylls or sheathing scales in Crocus.

The prophyll of Crocus is, to put it in very clumsy language, the wrapper or
tube or bag in which the entire inflorescence develops. It's within the ring
of leaves (and the leaves are within the cataphylls). 

Ordinarily, the prophyll is visible, if at all, right at ground level or
sticking up a bit. But the ones on my Crocus goulimyi are sticking up
several inches above ground, and they have not opened up yet. In fact, it
will probably take the pressure of the developing inflorescence to pop the
prophyll tube open.

I'm still trying to remember just what this reminds me of. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7,  where it's too early in the
morning for this technical talk. 

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