A. triphyllum differences?

Ellen Hornig hornig at OSWEGO.EDU
Mon Sep 29 18:43:13 CEST 1997

On Tue, 23 Sep 1997, guy gusman wrote:

> Ellen,
> Yesterday you wrote:
> <<<(b) in unpotting several A. triphyllum ssp. stewardsonii and "regular" A.
> triphyllums, I was struck by how *very* different the tubers are.
> The shape, positioning, and numbers of offsets (many) in stewardsonii
> contrasts sharply with I see in other triphyllums.  I am also happy to
> report that the stewardsoniis I collected in my back woods, and the ones
> Roy Herold sent me a few years ago, have very similar tubers - guess I see
> that as indicating that the distinguishing features are real, not random,
> and exist in both Massachusetts and upstate NY (roughly 300 miles apart).
> I'd certainly wonder whether they're the same species.>>>
> Could you comment on this difference. I am afraid I didn't see any SHARP
> difference all varieties of A.triphyllum, but, of course, I'd be happy to
> learn from people who have the possibility of looking at many specimens in
> the wild.
> Best regards,
> Guy

I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to this - it's been a busy week,
and I didn't want to answer without going back and rechecking the tubers
in question.  Here's what I find:

The regular triphyllums (triphyllum ssp. triphyllum?) seem, at least in
pots, to be produce very few offsets (only 1-2 on a mature tuber), and
these seem to be attached very low on the parent tuber (not always easy to
tell point of attachment as it falls apart in your hands).  The offsets
are often, though not always, rounded.

The stewardsoniis consistently produce many offsets (here I'm handicapped
because I emptied them out long ago, and separated the offsets for
repotting) - I'd say roughly 6 on a 2" tuber/ (from memory) and these
offsets are consistently attached high on the tuber, on the upper part of
the "shoulder", so they stand up around the central growing point like
points on a crown (or a rack of lamb?).  Furthermore, the offsets on mine
were very all narrow, some almost cyclindrical, to the point where, once
detached, some might be said to look like rhizomes.  At the same time
(pursuant to Gus's suspicion that stewardsoniis are slightly rhizomatous)
I have to say that none of the tubers I unpotted showed any signs of
rhizomatous growth.  All were attached directly to the parent, without any
intervening "bridge".

So - that's what I saw, and that's all I can report.  Don't know whether
it's meaningful or not.


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