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Tue Jan 17 12:11:33 CET 2006

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From: Jack Lambert <rjl6 at CORNELL.EDU>
Subject: Re: Arisaema: variation
Comments: To: "pbruggeman at" <pbruggeman at>
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At 2:24 PM +0100 1/12/06, pbruggeman at wrote:
>.... Many species keep the internal clock they had in the wild even
>if they are cultivated. Of several species I have clones that
>consistently break dormancy early ...(snip)..... whereas other
>clones of the same species break
>dormancy much later. The growth pattern of some species can be
>changed  and of some not.....

I have had the same experience, Pascal.  One clump of A.
candidissimum appears a full ten days and one tuber often  two weeks
later than the earliest although they are sited within feet of each
other in the yard.

Variation with respect to emergence and time of flower is taken for
granted in other species.  Helleborus niger is one for which time of
bloom has attracted interest and on-line comment.  Some, usually
called H. n. 'praecox', flower before the onset of winter, one strain
mentioned by Halloween, another by Thanksgiving, while most (in this
climate at least) do not flower until April, long after Christmas and
the start of the New Year.   Cyclamen also come to mind.  In the yard
here, some C. hederifolium are in full flower before mid-September;
others do not start until the very end of October.  Most of the early
bloomers flower before the leaves emerge; the late emergers,  after
the plant has come into foliage.   In this climate, the former set
more seed and thereby become the more prevalent both in the yard and
in the amount of seed contributed to the exchanges.   In general,
time of emergence is not something that catches attention the way
that variation in leaf form or color saturation do but does occur
within a species, more obviously so in one climate than in another,
more frequently as specimens from different sources/areas become

My experience is also similar to what you observe, Rick.   If I
understood you correctly, you noted that the larger of your  A.
candidissimum preceded the smaller in breaking dormancy.  This is
what happens in the open ground here.  Pups of both A. candidissimum
and of A. taiwanense reliably appear later, sometimes as much as
three weeks later, than the parent(s).   The differences you note may
have been affected by your growing conditions, the re-potting and
subsequent watering initiating growth and the feeding helping the
bulking up process but here it appears to have been size, not
differences in growing conditions that affects the time of emergence.
Moral:  one best be careful digging around plants that pup.

Nina Lambert, Ithaca, New York, USA

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