Tue, 24 Jul 2007 11:00:27 PDT
On 24 Jul 07, at 7:56, Mary Sue Ittner wrote:

> California has something beautiful species of this genus and I'm
> wondering how many of them might be geophytes. A couple I have tried
> to grow in my garden, but haven't gotten to bloom yet are deciduous
> and late to come back in the spring. I've looked at least one of these
> when dormant and I could actually see something that  looked like it
> had a tuber to me but Jepson describes them as annuals, perennials, or
> shrubs. There was a really gorgeous one I photographed in Southern
> California, Asclepias californica, described as perennial. I'd add it
> to the wiki if I thought is qualified.

Jepson is mixing its metaphors somewhat. The real contrasts are 
between woody plants, semi-woody plants and non-woody plants; between 
annual, biennial, and perennial plants; and between geophytes and non-
geophytes; and between evergreen and deciduous plants, which is 
closely correlated with the distinction between herbaceous and non-

Geophytes include bulbous, rhizomatous, tuberous, and cormous plants.

Our usual bulbs are non-woody, perennial, geophytic, but may be 
evergreen or deciduous.

Your milkweed is probably a non-woody deciduous perennial with fleshy 
roots that ambiguate the distinction between geophyte and non-

Somewhere in all this mess is the distinction between trees, shrubs, 
and sub-shrubs.

As usual, Mother Nature laughs at us humans trying to pigeonhole Her 
infinite variety of creations and makes sure She has plenty of gray 
area plants on board to frustrate our tidy little schemes.

I think we better all go put icepacks on our throbbing brains, no?


"It's MY computer, Mr Gates. Stop trying to tell me what it will/won't do."

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