Re: Contractile roots

On Tue, 9 Sep 1997, MJ Hatfield wrote:

> Wilbert said "contractile roots. Just have a look at older
> roots at the top of the tuber when you take one out." 
> Please enlighten me. I don't know what a contractile root looks like.
> Thanks.
> MJ Hatfield

	Here's my two scents:

		Last spring I harvested quite a few Arisaema seedlings
that were generously donated to me as seeds by the A. study group.  While
wrenching the tender little things from their styrofoam nurseries, I
noticed the roots were unusually wrinkled in appearance and as I tugged at
them unmercifully a wierd phenomenon occured - the "skin" revealed itself
to be as loosely bound to the underlying root as human arms are inside 
shirtsleeves, i.e., the sheath slid very easily along the entire length of
the root, indicating a theoretical facility of drawing the developing
tubers (corms?) deeper into the soil as they matured.  Amorphophallus
roots don't seem to be anything like this.  I don't believe Arisaema
tubers consume themselves after the leaf matures like Amorphophallus
tubers seem to do.  Therefore it seems plausable the Arisaemas might be
pulling themselves down into the substrate as they mature while
Amorphophallus appear to be simply bulldozing deeper and deeper cavities
as each spring's tuber is consumed and the hollow space is refilled with a
larger tuber. Maybe ...

		Theoretically yours,

			Roger L. Sieloff

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