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Twining plants

Peter Rice pmr at sanger.ac.uk
Tue May 23 07:37:52 EST 1995

In article <3ps8un$12v at mserv1.dl.ac.uk> MIGLIA%IRMICMAT.BITNET at vm.cnuce.cnr.it writes:
>   br947 at FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Caterine Wheatcroft) wrote:
>   >Why do the shoots of pole beans grow counter-clockwise and not
>   >clockwise? Any information would be welcome.
>   The most of twining plants grow clockwise indeed,like Morning Glory(Ipomea) and
>   Convolvulus, but some grow counterclockwise, like Honeysuckle (Lonicera).
>   Read also: Darwin C. and F. The power of movement in plants. Appleton and
>   Co. 1981.

Better yet, get "At the Drop of a Hat" by Flanders and Swann and pay close
attention to the song "Misalliance" (seems they use another convention
on clockwise too :-)   :

The honeysuckle slowly spirals clockwise to the sun
And many other creepers do the same
But some climb anticlockwise, the binweed does for one
Or Convulvulus to give its proper name.

Rooted on either side a door, one of each species grew
And raced towards the window ledge above
Each corkscrewed to the lintel in the only way it knew
Where they stopped, touched tendrils, smiled, and fell in love


A bee who was passing remarked to them then
I've said it before and I'll say it again
Consider your offshoots (If offshoots there be)
They'll never receive any blessing from me.

Poor little sucker, how will it learn
When it is climbing, which way to turn?
Left? Right? What a disgrace
For it may go straight up And fall flat on its face.

Peter Rice                           | Informatics Division
E-mail: pmr at sanger.ac.uk             | The Sanger Centre
Tel: (44) 1223 494967                | Hinxton Hall, Hinxton,
Fax: (44) 1223 494919                | Cambs, CB10 1RQ
URL: http://www.sanger.ac.uk/~pmr/   | England

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