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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Vegetative propagation and dispersal by means of horizontal contractile roots were studied in Muscari parviflorum. Strong contractile roots develop spontaneously from the bases of the newly formed reproduction bulblets, irrespective of planting depth. These roots disperse the bulblets at various distances from the mother bulb. At normal depth the direction of the roots, and consequently migration direction, are strictly horizontal. In very shallow or deep bulbs, the roots grow diagonally downwards or upwards, respectively, thus serving as depth adjustment controllers in addition to aiding vegetative dispersal. In shallow plants the extent of vegetative propagation and bulblet movement are considerably greater than in deeply-seated ones. Bulb posture, if slanting, horizontal or inverted, has little influence on the direction of the contractile roots. The bearing of vegetative dispersal on the survival potential of M. parviflorum in nature is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Botany, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University


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