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Ficus pumila: Mature leaf forms

Vegetative or asexual reproduction of plants is horticulturally simple. You all know how potted geraniums are reproduced from cuttings: individual shoots are snipped off and rooted and rapidly grow into new plants capable of blooming on their own. These cuttings are genetically identical to the plants from which they were taken, and look just like them.

Some plants can’t be reproduced asexually, or their cuttings don’t behave as expected. In front of you is a Norfolk Island pine, or Araucaria heterophylla. Across from it is a 30-year-old cutting. The cutting only grows laterally, and does not develop a vertical trunk. This is because the Norfolk pine, like some other conifers, has strongly determined shoots. In other words, a branch is always a branch. That may sound banal, but it means that a cutting taken from the tip of a side branch will continue to grow in the form of a branch, and will never take the form of a complete tree.



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Ficus pumila: Mature leaf forms (MP3, 400 KB)

Audio production and copyright: Soundgarden Audioguidance GmbH
Text: Günter Gerlach, Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg