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  Philodendron Shift in Leaf Morphology
From: <pbunch at cox.net> on 2009.10.01 at 17:04:47(20133)
So how do Philodendrons change from "juvenile' to 'mature" foliage morphologies? What are the mechanisms involved?

Phil
Medellin

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From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2009.10.02 at 06:41:53(20137)
Phil, it is known as ontogeny and isthe same thing as a child "morphing" into an adult. When a baby isborn it looks little like an adult human but during the child'slife-long ontogeny it changes constantly until reaching adult hood. Even then the young adult continues to "age" and "morph".

Plants do the exact same thing and constantly change as they age.. Youstart out with the extremely young sprout which begins to produce leafblades. That then turns into the juvenile form of the plant whenchanges to the pre-adult form and then the adult. As it become anadult it is capable of reproduction but will continue to change as itgrows. Plants high in the canopy look nothing like the same speciesfound near the ground but they are one and the same species.

This mighthelp:http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Natural%20variation%20within%20aroid%20and%20%20plant%20species.html

Steve

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From: "Marek Argent" <abri1973 at wp.pl> on 2009.10.03 at 10:05:02(20146)
Hello Phil,

The same behavior you may observe in Syngonium and recently discusssed Cercestis.

A lot depends on the conditions where they grow, if they are insufficient, plants will never grow adult,

or even adult or adolescent plants may return to their juvenile form.

Also many tuberous aroids when they are young, their leaves are entire and with age they become variously shaped.

Two helpful links with Syngonium photos:

http://www.wschowa.com/abrimaal/araceum/syngonium/syng1.htm

http://www.wschowa.com/abrimaal/araceum/unid/abrisyng1.htm

Marek

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From: "Tom Croat" <Thomas.Croat at mobot.org> on 2009.10.06 at 20:05:01(20163)
Dear Phil:

I suspect that it is auxin controlled. As you may imagine younger
plants grow scototropically one assumes because they have to find a
tree, rock or wall. Once there they stop growing horizontally and grow
upward, effectively toward the light, rather than away from the light.
Therefore is is logical that there is an auxin conrol the makes this
change of coarse. As the plants get closer to the source of light the
internodes get shorter and broader reflecting this more favorable site
for developing into an adult plant.

Tom

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