DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A cut stem of Lobelia cardinalis, the Cardinal flower. L. cardinalis is a perennial garden plant, native to E. Canada and the Eastern United States of America. It has brilliant scarlet flowers, and many named garden forms exist.The picture shows the base of a cut flowering stem after two weeks' submersion in a vase of water, and illustrates one method of propagating the plant. As hormones from the tip of the stem ( out of picture, top ) flow downwards, they accumulate above the cut surface ( centre bottom) and stimulate the breaking of dormant buds, here on the left and right sides of the stem. As the new shoots grow, in turn they produce auxins, which stimulate growth, first of a formless callus tissue (white) at their base, followed by new roots. The two new shoots here will each form a new plant if detached from the stem and potted into soil.
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