Phalanx and Guerrilla

Plant form is basically the three-dimensional shape of the total plant determined by a genetically determined "bauplan". In addition, in clonal plants form results from the dynamics of clonal growth, i.e. the number, point of origin and length of different orders of shoots and roots, the angles of branching and the presence of modified shoot systems such as runners or stolons.

When the distance between ramets in a clonal plant is short it presents a "phalanx"-like growth form, whereas if the distance is greater, a "guerrilla"-like growth form is realised, with shoots able to infiltrate between other plants. Sometimes both growth-forms are realised in the same plant and depend from environmental conditions such as the presence of nutrients or the availability of light.

Examples of clonal plant species (click on the images to get further information).

clonal plant forms
1 - The diversity of clonal plant forms
Geum reptans Sibbaldia procumbens Carex curvula Juncus trifidus Saxifraga paniculata Carex bigelowii Trisetum distichophyllum