Morpho-ecological studies on geophilic plants: Vegetative reproduction inIris vartani (Iridaceae)
Structure and behaviour of the underground organs ofIris vartani were investigated in connection with the vegetative reproduction of this species. Under favourable conditions, well developed mature plants give rise to two replacement bulbs and to several propagation bulblets each year. In spite of this considerable vegetative propagation, no crowding occurs at the natural habitat. Controlled experiments show that as soon as a small group is formed, each bulb produces only one replacement bulb and not two as before. Moreover, the bulblets do not sprout while they are attached to the respective mother bulbs, but rather die and disintegrate, remaining as empty peels. In contrast, detached bulblets, sown individually in separate pots, germinate readily. Consequently, the aggregates ofI. vartani do not increase to any great extent and thus ensure their survival “in situ” for many years.
Key wordsAngiosperms Iridaceae Iris vartani Bulb structure vegetative reproduction bulblet germination
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