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What are stolons and examples

What are stolons and examples

Many plants do not depend exclusively on their roots to reproduce, but rely on the so-called asexual vegetative reproductionwhich allows them to spread without the need for flowers or seeds.

In this EcologíaVerde article we are going to talk about stolons, which are one of those forms of vegetative reproduction that some plants use. Read on and discover what are stolonswhat are they for and examples of plants with stolonsthe more interesting data.

What are plant stolons and what are they for?

Stolons are weak, horizontally growing stems. that always start from the main stem and that many plants produce. They always grow very close to the ground, either below it, which are called underground stolonsor on its surface, which are the epigeal stolonssometimes called creepers or runners, and contain embryonic cells that allow them to take root and produce new plants that, if separated from the main one, will be completely independent.

As a means of asexual reproduction that they are, the function of the stolons is none other than to extend the ground that covers the plant in order to reach a greater number of nutrients and colonize a greater surface. This resource is used by many plants that live in areas or environments where they face unfavorable or hostile characteristics, such as aridity, excess humidity or high salinity. Because the newly rooted plant is still connected to the mother plant through the stem, it will be able to receive nutrients and water from it until it becomes strong enough to fend for itself. This makes the plants that reproduce by stolons are usually very hardy and can overcome conditions that are fatal to other species.

Since one stolon can produce more stolons in turn, these plants can cover huge amounts of land and even become a pest if they are in favorable conditions, so when planting plants of this type in natural areas you should always be very careful not to end up altering the balance of the local flora.

What are stolons and examples - What are plant stolons and what are they for

Plants with stolons: examples

There are a lot of plants that reproduce by stolons, some of them well known to most of us. Let’s see some of its most characteristic examples:

Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)

These sweet and sour fruits so popular all over the world are perhaps the most popular example of reproduction by stolons, as this is also the simplest and easiest way to reproduce strawberries in gardens and orchards. Since the stolons tend to move looking for a location, when trying to reproduce strawberries through them, they tend to fix themselves to the desired place by burying them and placing a light weight on them that makes them take root at that specific point. Here you can consult more about the cultivation of strawberries.

Mint (mint)

This genus of aromatic plants, widely used in gardening for its aromatic and culinary value, is also a very good example of a plant that reproduces by runners. It is usual to cut the runners of a certain length to submerge them in water until they produce roots and then plant them as if it were a cutting.

In this other post we show you the Care of the potted mint plant.

Love bow, ribbon or malamadre (Chlorophytum comosum)

Another plant, it is widely cultivated in gardens for its ornamental value, which reproduces throughout the year by stolons, naturally giving rise to dense and continuously expanding massifs.

Clover (Trifolium repens)

Ireland’s iconic plant, famous for its reputed ability to bring luck to those who find four-leaf clovers, is also another species that makes use of runners. In fact, it is thanks to this capacity that it is as capable as it is upholstery, being able to cover large areas of land in a short time.

What are runners and examples - Plants with runners: examples

Difference Between Rhizome and Stolon

The rhizomes and stolons They fulfill very similar functions in plants, since both are cases of asexual vegetative reproduction. The main difference between them, however, is that while stolons almost always develop above the ground and very close to it, rhizomes are always underground stems, also growing horizontally, that produce roots and shoots in their branches. different knots.

The rhizomes never stop growing, renewing themselves over time as their oldest parts die, but never stop producing new ones. Another distinctive feature between rhizomes and stolons is that the former are always thick and short, while the latter are thin and long.

In this other EcologíaVerde article we explain the Definition of rhizomes and examples of plants.

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