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  Contractile Roots
From: Sue Zunino <SNALICE at aol.com> on 1997.09.09 at 06:51:50(1196)
Could this be what happens?

The bulb puts out contractile roots as stablizers, the plant grows, the bulb
wastes away, the weight of the plant causes it to settle into the wasted
bulb's hole, the plant dies then rebuilds it's new bulb at a deeper level
where the next contractile root growth anchors it, and the process begins all
over again. So do the roots actually PULL it down, or does it simply settle
and restablize? In the case of konjak and titanum, there is a lot of weight
to be born by the bulb. I'm trying to visualize how roots can pull.

Bill Lanchaster at Humboldt State University has a konjak growing in his
compost pile. He mentioned that he tried to dig it up once, but gave up. He
says it PULLS itself further down each year. It must be 4' to 5' below the
BOTTOM of the compost pile where it began. That's 10 to 15 years of droppage

From: Dana Scholle <dana at homecom.com> on 1997.09.09 at 13:50:27(1199)
I' certainly not an expert, but what comes to mind would be that the
contractile roots keep the tuber in place and stabilize the petiole, then
as the season wears on, the tuber replenishes ans increases in weight. Then
when the plant begins to wither, so do the roots, which then loose the
ability to hold up the tuber and it would then collapse down into the space
below it. Just a guess?

I noticed the other day that my smallish Konjac is now putting out a
secondary something. I am assuming it could only be a leaf. I thought
Konjac was known for having only one petiole per season. I have a rapidly
growing Bulbifer (thanks to Mr. Martyn :) ) which is in the process of
putting up it's fourth and fifth leaves (at the same time, no less!!) But
the Konjac is a little puzzling. It's one of the black stem varieties from
Plant Delights. Has anyone else ever had this kind of thing happen?

+More
From: hermine <hermine at endangeredspecies.com> on 1997.09.09 at 14:10:54(1203)
At 08:51 AM 9/9/97 -0500, Sue Zunino wrote:
>Could this be what happens?
>
>The bulb puts out contractile roots as stablizers, the plant grows, the bulb
>wastes away, the weight of the plant causes it to settle into the wasted
>bulb's hole, the plant dies then rebuilds it's new bulb at a deeper level
>where the next contractile root growth anchors it, and the process begins all
>over again.
+More
From: "Carlo A. Balistrieri" <cabalist at facstaff.wisc.edu> on 1997.09.10 at 09:32:36(1213)
>I noticed the other day that my smallish Konjac is now putting out a
>secondary something. I am assuming it could only be a leaf. I thought
>Konjac was known for having only one petiole per season.

Not necessarily so. I have a tuber sitting in a tray with three equally
sized growths coming at the same time.

Carlo

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