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Re: Flower Scape Question


Thanks George

Good explanations.

----- Original Message ----- From: "W. George Schmid" <hostahill@Bellsouth.net>
To: <hosta-open@hort.net>
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 9:47 AM
Subject: Re: Flower Scape Question


Gentle Gardeners,
To use the word "crown" means to start confusion. Crown can be the corona;
the top of a tree, it can be stem divisions; it can be the basal portion of
a herbaceous plant where the rhizome and resting buds and/or aerial stems
meet; it can be a length of rhizome with a strong terminal bud; a.s.o.
Please lets call thing by what they are.
In the genus Hosta we have two types of rhizomes that produce what you call
"crowns."
Type 1: Most hostas have a tuber-like simple (i.e., one-piece) rhizome that
is a single (hence the name simple) mass, much like a potato (I am trying to
keep this simple). The crown is the top portion of the rhizome, where the
buds develop and these buds develop. These are either resting (dormant) or
develop into the aerial parts (stems, leaves, flowers).
Type 2: Some hosta species have slender, spreading and branching rhizomes
that look like swollen roots. These develop no actual crowns, but buds at
the terminal tip and along the rhizome at some nodes. These special rhizomes
occur in H. clausa stolonifera (the latter epithet is actually incorrect,
because stolons are above ground organs).
Rod is correct, most buds develop one aerial stem (leaf bundle and flower
scape for mature plants, leaves only in immature plants). There are rare
exceptions and I have seen instances where a single bud develops more than
one stem. We should use the term bud, rather than crown because it is the
buds one should count. The crown in a simple rhizome is the entire top part
that develops buds. So to answer Glen's question, the crown, i.e. top of the
rhizome, does indeed develop multiple aerial parts (stems, leaves, and
flowers), particularly in mature hostas. I have counted as many as 50 (and
more) stems per large rhizome. In some species, the internal part of the
rhizome disintegrates with age because the feeder roots at the periphery no
longer supply food to the internal parts. When this happens, the rhizome
first becomes ring-like and later breaks up into individual pieces. The
slender creeping rhizomes of rhizomatous hostas grow on and on since they
develop roots all along the rhizome and it can cover rather large areas by
spreading and branching. Technically, these rhizomes do not have a crown.
I have always thought that the use of words that need further explanation or
that can have several meanings is misleading and can confuse a lot of
people. Crown is one of those words.
You cannot count the buds as long as a hosta is in the ground because it has
dormant and developing buds. The dormant ones just sit there and the
developing ones make a leaf petiole and usually a flower stem. So to count
buds you need to dig the rhizome, clean its top and start counting. Let's
forget about counting "crowns."
HTH, George

W. George Schmid
Hosta Hill - Tucker Georgia USA
Zone 7a - 1188 feet AMSL
84-12'-30" West_33-51' North
Outgoing e-mail virus checked by NAV

----- Original Message ----- From: "Rod Kuenster" <Rod-Kuenster@iowa-city.org>
To: <hosta-open@hort.net>
Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 09:48
Subject: RE: Flower Scape Question>
Does /can a crown have more than one flower scape? Is it a way of counting
crowns?
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