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Re: Definition (Was: Re: juvenile hostas?)

In a message dated 12/09/1999 6:49:11 AM Central Standard Time, 
eoneill@ibm.net writes:

 That raises another question, Paul  ;-)
 How do you experienced hostaphiles define "mature leaves?"
 Ok, ok, that raises two questions.
 These plants that never grow large enough eyes to produce mature leaves..Is
 that a cultural response? Or a genetic one? 
 Gerry >>
A mature Hosta leaf is like pornography I. Know it when I see it.
But on a more practical level, mature leaves have number of diffrent 
properties than other leaves. They might have thicker cuticles, diffrent 
colorization, texture and size.

Why some plants do not develop mature leaves or take a very long time to 
develop those leaves is a product of both the expression of the genes in 
response to it's environment.
Age usually is a strong determent factor in relation to growth (root mass and 
crown size) The size of the stem (rhizome) of coarse plays a predominate role 
in the size of the "eye"

In mature clumps one finds a uniformity in eye size over the rhizome with 
most eyes being large, this is most likely in response to apical dominance.

In immature clumps you can have a large variation in the size of the "eyes" 
that do produce leaves. But generally you do not get a mixture of mature and 
juvenile leaves on the same plant.

Without doing any studies one might draw the conclusion that mature leaves 
are the result of PGR (plant growth regulaters=hormone) ratios, resulting 
from the size of the buds developed, which is in relation to the ratio of 
size of the rhizome/number of actively growing eyes. 

what I have noticed is that there is a change in the number of eyes one sees 
in a clump from when it is divided- at first you have a period were there are 
many eyes that produce leaves, these eyes are a mixture of diffrent sizes- 
which result in juvenile leaves, and as the years go by the number of eyes 
that develop leaves DECREASES verse root size, but those leaves are large and 
"more" mature in morphological expression.


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