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Author Topic: Unusual Cyclamen purpurascens growth behaviour  (Read 3919 times)

Paul T

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Unusual Cyclamen purpurascens growth behaviour
« on: January 27, 2008, 03:53:45 AM »
Howdy All,

I posted the following message to Cyclamen-L yesterday, but thought I would like to ask about it here as well as we have so many knowledgeable people up here.  Wasn't quite sure where to place it, but between Maggi and I we decided here in the aplines section would work, as it isn't acutally a cultivation "rpoblem" but rather an observation of something unusual?....

*****************

I have a Cyclamen purpurascens that is behaving unusually.  For me C. purpurascens is evergreen (although it looks somewhat tatty in late spring) and is pretty much constantly in flower (unlike some of the reference material that says it flowers or maybe 4 months?).  The oldest of my plants is perhaps 6 years old, maybe 8, and is the most evergreen and floriferous of the 4 adult plants that I have.  The oldest of the others are about 2 years younger than that (all these times are since purchase... I have no idea actually how old the plants themselves are).  I'm trying to give you as much background as possible as to age differences etc.

I've been loath to repot any of the purpurascens as they are evergreen and I never quite know when to do it.  I have just done it for the first time in many years, so I have had a good look at the plants while unpotted.  Now to the mystery/oddity..... while the other tubers have remained as traditional tubers my oldest plant has "spread" in the pot, almost looking like it has become rhizomatous.  The original tuber is still there, but has been shifted a little off-centre over time by the growth heading off in one direction from it.  The growth (or perhaps I should say it is a cluster of growths/rhizomes) is now larger than the original tuber.  The rhizomes I would hazard could be severed and replanted as the majority of them have their own roots.  By the look of it there are new shoots coming off the side of those rhizomes all the time, as I could see now tiny leaves emerging from old leaf axils etc.  There were also some of these tiny shoots starting on the opposite side of the original tuber, so may it is trying to head off into new directions as well?

temporary addition to see what happens to it.

I've taken a couple of photos of the phenomenon (see pics below) to try to show you what I mean.  In both the side and view from above you can see the original tuber to the left of the picture, with the growths heading off to the side. 

40816-0
Side view of of unusual Cyclamen purpurascens

40820-1
View from above of unusual Cyc. purp.

The third picture is a closeup of the growths as seen to the right in the side view.  As you can see from those closeup views some of the growths appear to be producing darker "tuber-like" material while others are just growing and spreading like rhizomes.

40818-2
closeup of side view

So is this normal for Cyclamen purpurascens?  I've never come across anything like it before.  I've seen the "trunks" produced by graecum etc, and I've seen tubers that produce growths at various points on the upper surface, but nothing even remotely like this.  I have repotted it now without trying to take any pieces off, but I am wondering whether I should try it?  I am concerned that I will introduce pathogens and the tuber would then rot.  As it is my favourite clone (a rather nice silvery leaf marking to it) I am a bit concerned about losing it.

Anyway, I am hoping that some of your can give me some insight into why it is doing this and your own experiences on the matter.  Hopefully some of you will just find it interesting to see what this has done, just from an "oddity" point of view.  I've tried to keep the pics relatively small, without shrinking them too much and losing resolution.  I have the large original pics so if anything is needed to be zoomed in on I can try to do so.  My apologies if the pics are large enough to cause anyone with dialup modems a problem.

I am hoping there is nothing wrong, but rather it is something that has gone a bit askew in the growth departments, that has resulted in me getting far more growth points from the plant, and therefore far more flowers.  Just a nice "problem" rather than a bad one I hope.

Thanks in anticipation of any help or advice you can give. 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 03:56:45 AM by tyerman »
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9C. Max summer temp 40C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

Martin Baxendale

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Re: Unusual Cyclamen purpurascens growth behaviour
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2008, 09:04:19 PM »
Never seen that before Paul. I've seen plenty of cyclamen forming 'trunks' but not rhizomes like that. I'd try splitting them, then see if the offsets repeat the performance. It could be just an environmental quirk, but then again it might be genetic. If it is genetic and the offets  do it as well then it's potentially a valuable new development - clumping cyclamen that can be vegetatively propagated. If it's stable, then crossing with other purpascens could produce a race of clumping forms. Then again it might just never do it again!
Martin Baxendale, Gloucestershire, UK.

Paul T

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Re: Unusual Cyclamen purpurascens growth behaviour
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2008, 11:37:00 AM »
I've potted it up again so I'm going to have to work out whether I am willing to mess with it again to try severing a piece of the "rhizome" bit.  Seems like the general consensus is to at least give it a try.  That seems to be what the people on the cyclamen list have said anyway.  Of course my paranoia is still refusing to go away.  :o
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9C. Max summer temp 40C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

annew

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Re: Unusual Cyclamen purpurascens growth behaviour
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2008, 06:04:06 PM »
Paul, I think it's just floral trunk development - purpurascens is, in my experience, the species that plays with this little oddness the most. Several of mine have produced something similar at one time or another. (was your plant from some of my seeds? :-\) Supposedly the trunks can be used for propagation, and though a friend has succeeded with this, I've never tried.
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Paul T

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Re: Unusual Cyclamen purpurascens growth behaviour
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2008, 09:55:44 AM »
Anne,

Not from your seed.... that was only a couple of years ago and I can't grow them THAT well!!  ;D  The thing with this is that whatever it is seems to be constantly branching, as the lateral runners/stems/trunks keep producing shoots off the side etc.  I guess normally with them upright apical dominance would stop the others from shooting, but these are doing it very well.  None of my other mature purps are even producing trunks, let alone great long running ones.

Actually, re the seed from you..... I actually put it onto my potting table about an hour ago to repot them.  They're still only small, nowhere near flowering size, but I find that often it takes Cyclamen seed from the northern hemisphere longer to get established.  I am wondering whether they have a bit of an inbuilt calendar in them so they get a bit confused.  I normally try to sow Cyclamen seed inside under lights after I receive it from the northern hemisphere, but given that the purpurascens doesn't have a significant rest period I thought it wouldn't really mind as it wasn't so affected by temps (so many of the seed just sit and wait for autumn if placed outside straight after sowing).  I found out the hard way with yours that the northern hemisphere purps should be sown inside just like the others which DO have a pronounced rest period, to get them going strongly as early as possible.  You live and learn.  The main thing is that they're growing, even if it has slowed them down a little.  I noticed new shoots emerging in the pot today next to the older leaves, so I thought it would an ideal time to repot them.  My other plants have all sailed through their repot last week (which was when I discovered the prioblem with the trunks etc) so I think I've managed to time it well for them and now hopefully for your seedlings.  Looking forward to them maturing.  Thanks again!!
Cheers.

Paul T.
Canberra, Australia.
Min winter temp -8 or -9C. Max summer temp 40C. Thankfully, maybe once or twice a year only.

 

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