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Re: Survival strategies (bulblets)

Howdy all,

I don't know how many of you are Fritillaria growers...... the American
ones (as far as I know) have tiny little "grain of rice" bulblets that sit
around the base of the mother bulb.  These sit there for YEARS!!! until the
parent bulb is removed or dies.  Then the bulblets start to grow.  

What happens as far as I know is that the parent bulb puts out a chemical
that stops the growth of the bulblets.  Once the parent is removed the
bulblets no longer have the chemical around them so they start growing.
Once one or two of them get up to a certain size they start producing the
chemical and the rest of the tardier bulbs stop growing until these new
"parents" are removed.

I have to wonder how many other plants have this mechanism that we aren't
aware of, or even if seeds are somehow affected in the same way.  I have
numerous times moved something which I only have one bulb of.... only to
find that suddenly there are little ones in the area where I removed the
original from..... and I don't mean that weed types of bulbs either.

I thought I'd bring this up just in case anyone else has thoughts on this.


Paul Tyerman
Canberra, Australia.  USDA equivalent - Zone 8

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