Meadow Saffron has many various techniques to survive in the environment it inhabits. A prime example are its fibrous roots that spread out to increase surface area. These roots shoot down and out into the ground, absorbing water and nutrients, and providing an anchor to stabilize the flower, allowing it to grow up to a foot in height.

Conservation of Energy
You don’t usually consider plants as being smart but as far as this goes Culchicum autumnale seems to have it figured out. It sends up its leaves in early spring/late winter. Once the weather starts getting hot and water supply decreases these leaves die off and the plant goes into a dormancy period where it rests and rejuvenates its energy. Then, in late summer or early fall it pushes up its pretty flowers to give a nice surprising autumn beauty. This is an amazing example of energy conservation at work.

Cell Wall (Support)
Unlike you and me plants have cells walls which are made up of cellulose. These inhibit flexibility, but add to the strength of a plant. In addition plants have many different types of tissue in order to aid in growth and stability, unlike us who have specific structures to help in support, every cell of a plant is used to keep it upright. If it didn't posses this support, it could just be blown over by the wind. First off, all cells start out as Parenchyma. Parenchyma is totipotent and goes on to differentiate into other types of cells. One of these types is a flexible tissue, usually located at the edge of a fast growing young plants, called chollenchyma. Another tissue similar to this is schlerenchyma, it provides protection and stability internally and actually forms inside of the cell walls. In addition to these, you can also find xylem and phloem that add to the structure and support. All this is encased in the outermost layers: epidermis and periderm. These provide protection from desication.

Soil around the world is typically in the pH range of 3.0-10.0. Autumn Crocus can grow anywhere from 4.5 to 7.5. When the pH gets down to pH=3.0 most plants (especially flowers) can’t grow well in these conditions. The reason for this is that the if the soil is too acidic (or in some cases too basic) all the nutrients get tied up and the plant is unable to acquire them from the soil. Since most plants grow in the 5.5-6.5 range you can see that Autumn Crocus has adapted to be able to grow in a wider range of places.

To read more about xylem and phloem continue to Nutrition.              

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