DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rhizome development on a plant of dotted loosestrife, Lysimachia punctata. The picture shows the parent plant (roots and a single stem, left). Extending horizontally from the base of this plant are two elongating rhizomes ( bright red hues), each with a diameter of about 6mm. Rhizomes grow horizontally just beneath the soil surface, eventually producing buds and roots along their length. At intervals, the buds develop into vertical shoots that emerge from the soil. The rhizomes seen here are not mature enough to produce shoots, being only a few centimetres long. The parent plant (left) itself arose from a rhizome. Rhizomatous plants such as dotted loosestrife form expanding clumps that may be extensive. In their natural habitat, this self-propagation allows rapid colonisation of suitable areas. Grown in a garden, this weedy behaviour can result in the infestation of neighbouring plants.
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