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Sports from roots

Hosta Robins,

I want to describe (for your information) something I had heard about
but had never before  experienced. Yesterday in my garden, I was walking
beside a short row of several plants of 'Thai Brass' I had  planted this
early summer in a new bed....I wanted to have some young plants of Thai
Brass next spring to share with friends.I noted under one plant
something dark about the size of my fist. Looking closer under some
leaves I saw a clump of very small plants next to and under the leaves
of the plant of Thai Brass. My first thought was ...What are these? I
didn't plant these here! Where did they come from? I dug up the entire
clump of Thai Brass and the small green plants carefully and took  it
into the greenhouse to wash the soil from the roots to examine it.

I found nine small plants  each with about three or four leaves ATTACHED
to the roots of the Thai Brass plant. Leaves were about 1/2 inch in
diameter. Eight of the plantlets were dark green with bright yellow
edges. One plantlet  was greenish yellow like the Thai Brass parent
plant from which they arose. I cut them off carefully from the roots of
Thai Brass ( I'm sorry now that I didn't take a photo of this whole
affair). Each plantlet had its own roots which had arisen from the base
of its small rhizome...some were very short but some were as long a 1
1/2 inches. I cut the point of the stolen-like connecting structures on
the Thai Brass roots and then had nine small plantlets separated from
the mother plant with roots of their own. I planted them in Promix in
cellpacks, watered them and placed them under a clear dome to
acclimatize them in a shady location in the greenhouse.

Now I have seen  it for myself. The stories about plants from roots
always seemed possible, but I had somewhat doubted it until now. There
is no doubt any longer in my mind.. From now on, I will be looking for
small plantlets under hostas, next to and attached to them. They may
represent another major source of valuable sports seldom before seen.

Jim Hawes

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