Adventitious roots and shoots

Adventitious roots and shoots


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Adventitious Roots and Shoots  

The buds located at the nodes on a plant’s stem, if "activated," will produce more stems...right? Usually, this is the case—stem tissue begets stem tissue, root tissue begets root tissue. But of course it’s never that neat and tidy!

Think back to that section of ivy vine sitting in a jar of water. When we "root" a cutting like that, we’re hoping that root tissue will form along the submerged stem. And remember our example of the violet plant? When sprouts form at nodes along the creeping stems, both shoots and roots are produced on stem tissue.

Botanists have a term for this phenomenon. Roots that arise from stem (or any other non-root) tissue are called adventitious roots. Adventitious shoots, you might guess, are shoots arising from non-stem tissue, usually roots.

Now let’s look at some asexual means of propagation, and see where adventitious roots and shoots play a role.

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