Many plants do not depend exclusively on their roots to reproduce, but have the so-called asexual vegetative reproduction, which allows them to spread without the need for flowers or seeds.
In this Green Ecologist article we are going to talk about stolons, which are one of those forms of vegetative reproduction that some plants use. Keep reading and discover what are stolons, what are they for and examples of plants with stolons, among more interesting data.
Stolons are weak horizontally growing stems that always start from the main stem and that many plants produce. They always grow very close to the ground, either below it, which are called underground stolons, or on the surface of this, which are the epigeal stolons, sometimes called creepers or runners, and contain embryonic cells that allow them to take root and produce new plants that, if separated from the main one, will be completely independent.
As a means of asexual reproduction that they are, the function of the stolons is none other than to extend the land that the plant covers in order to reach a greater number of nutrients and colonize a greater surface area. This resource is used by many plants that live in areas or environments where they face unfavorable or hostile characteristics, such as aridity, excess humidity or high salinity. Since the newly rooted plant is still connected to the mother plant through the stem, it can receive nutrients and water from it until it becomes strong enough to fend for itself. This makes plants that reproduce by stolons they are usually very resistant and can overcome conditions that are fatal to other species.
Since a stolon can produce more stolons in turn, these plants can cover huge amounts of land and even become a pest if they are in favorable conditions, so when planting plants of this type in natural areas you should Always be very careful not to end up upsetting the balance of the local flora.
There are a lot of plants that reproduce by stolons, some of them well known to most of us. Let's see some of its most characteristic examples:
These sweet and sour fruits so popular around the world are perhaps the most popular example of stolon reproduction, as this is also the simplest and easiest way to reproduce strawberries in gardens and orchards. Since stolons tend to move looking for a location, when looking to reproduce strawberries by means of them they tend to be fixed to the desired place by burying them and placing a light weight on them that makes them root at that specific point. Here you can find out more about Strawberry cultivation.
This genus of aromatic plants, widely used in gardening for its aromatic and culinary value, is also a very good example of a plant that reproduces by stolons. It is usual to cut the stolons to a certain length to immerse them in water until they produce roots and then plant them as if they were a cutting.
In this other post we show you the Care of the potted mint plant.
Another plant, is widely cultivated in gardens for its ornamental value, which reproduces throughout the year by stolons, naturally giving rise to dense and continuously expanding clumps.
Ireland's iconic plant, famous for its attributed ability to bring luck to those who find four-leaf clovers, is also another species that makes use of stolons. In fact, it is thanks to this capacity that it is as capable as upholstery, being able to cover large areas of land in a short time.
The rhizomes and stolons they fulfill very similar functions in plants, since both are cases of asexual vegetative reproduction. The main difference between them, however, is that while the stolons almost always develop above the ground and very close to it, the rhizomes are always underground stems, also horizontally growing, that produce roots and shoots in their different knots.
The rhizomes never stop growing, renewing themselves over time as their oldest parts die, but without stopping producing new ones. Another distinctive feature between rhizomes and stolons is that the former are always thick and short, while the latter are thin and long.
In this other Green Ecologist article we explain the Definition of rhizomes and examples of plants.
If you want to read more articles similar to What are stolons and examples, we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants.