Creeping buttercups

monique at monique at
Fri Jan 17 08:41:44 EST 1997

>The question is 'Can Creeping
>Buttercups creep downhill?' The obvious point being that since the runners
>are modified stems they should respond to gravity by growing uphill. We are
>planning a series of experiments with populations of the plant grown at
>different slope angles and are also looking at the behaviour of individual
>runners with respect to gravity.

>A wider question arises with respect to other plants that can colonise
>areas rapidly by stolons, runners or whatever - how successful are they at
>spreading downhill by vegetative means?

Plants can certainly creep downhill.  Stolons are sort of "programmed" to 
follow the ground.  This is one reason ground covers are possible, and 
why ground covers are used on slopes to prevent erosion.  Up, down, 
sideways...  The plant doesn't care.

Hint:  Think of all the slopes you've ever seen covered with Bermudagrass or 
St. Augustinegrass....

Monique Reed
Texas A&M

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