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Thread: Strange phenomenon

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I received a bunch of VFT's, recently. One plant's leaves came apart during unpacking, so I placed the leaves in my tray of live LFS, in the hopes of springing up new plants. A couple weeks have gone by and I saw that the leaves are still green and one of the traps is still open. For the lark of it I attempted to trigger the trap with a pen cap. It snapped shut! Anybody ever experience that?

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    On all of the cuttings I've taken the traps are still active for a while.

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    Here's my totally unscientific viewpoint--


    VFTs seem like very primitive plants--fascinatingly so. Other plants have a crown at the soil surface, or a single root system that supplies one or more stems and lots of leaves.

    But in a VFT, each leaf is like a separate plant. Each has its green leaf area above ground for light and air (and bugs), and each has its food storage area underground at the base of each leaf (in this view of each leaf as a separate plant, the part of a VFT resette or colony that is underground is not a "bulb" but instead just a collection of individual leaves, individual plants so to speak). Each leaf can and often does produce its own root.

    Each leaf therefore is an independent organism, although a colony of VFT leaves can share food and resources with each other through little areas of conjoined tissue, like human conjoined twins. Yet, split them apart and each can (usually) live separately, if it is strong enough yet. This is in sharp contrast with other plants that may have many leaves and stems, but only one root system. Damage the crown at or near the soil surface of one of these plants, and all of the roots and all of the leaves may die.

    VFTs do remind me of some other plants such as iris, which have leaves, a food storage area at their base (in the underground rhizome), and a separate root system for each rhizome. Iris can share resources through the tissue that connects them with other rhizomes, but they can also be broken off and be planted and survive independently.

    However, VFTs are more primitive (to use that term) than iris, because an iris produces multiple leaves on a stem and the rhizome is part of the stem, whereas in a VFT, the entire plant consists of just one leaf with a root. And when the leaf dies, its stored food is passed through the tissue that joins it to the other leaves/plants, until the entire leaf, and therefore plant, dies. But it nearly always produces babies (sometimes numerous) faster than it dies!


    What does this "answer" have to do with your question? Well, nothing, I guess, except to suggest that an individual VFT leaf is, or can act like, an autonomous organism.

    Anyway, that's my take--


    By the way, you aren't referring to one of my former little guys are you Jim?
    Be happy in the travel--there is no destination

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Thanks for the explanation and yes, one plant shed a few leaves when I was unpacking. Reminds me of 10th grade Biology and being required to cut a primitive planarian into 3 parts, with the expectation that 3 living planaria will emerge. In my case, I had 3 dead pieces! I'm doing better, now.

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