DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
An axillary stem bulbil of the Tiger lily, Lilium lancifolium, photographed in late summer. The picture shows the junction between the lily stem (vertical, right), and a leaf ( green, right centre to lower left). At the junction, a bud has developed into a bulbil; a small detachable bulb-like entity that can develop into a new plant. The bulbil has produced a root while still in situ ( cream hue), the tip of which has withered due to dry summer conditions. Later in the season, this bulbil will drop to the ground and might develop into a new plant, self-propagating. Bulbils represent a convenient means for gardeners to propagate varieties of lily that produce them, since if detached and planted into pots of soil, they produce flowering size plants a year or two more rapidly than propagating the plant by seed.
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