Small Shiny White Tuber?

eibren(z6PA)April 26, 2009

While I was digging in the dusk last night to put in another spearmint in one of the shadier, less promising spots that was newly roughed out a ear or so ago, I dug up a very smooth, white tuber about 2 1/4 inches long, probably no more than 1/3 inch wide, with a little knobby spot about 1/4 inch wide on the side of one end, and a little ripple along the length. There didn't seem to be any connection to any stems or roots, or any new growth beginning yet, and for a moment I wondered if it was some sort of chrysalis, but I recovered it with soil, certain I could identify it on Google--but Google was little help.

Are any of you familiar with such a tuber? I planted a woodland flower in that general location which has not appeared yet...also, I think I planted some sort of Wood Betony plant near there...?

At least I didn't actually pull out my hollyhock that I put in last year--it was looking way too much like wild mustard, and I almost did, until I saw the stem...good thing I'm a gentle weeder....


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OK, it was a Columbine plant I put in near there last year...Do they form tubers?

I know now they are a member of the Ranunculus family, same as Monkshood, which does form tubers or bulbs...


    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 2:20AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

My columbine does not form tuber like roots. Especially nothing "shiny" and white.

You may wish to ask in the "Name that Plant" forum. They are truly amazing as to what they can id.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 2:34PM
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Thanks, Fata; someone in the "name" thread id'd it as probably a betony plant. They posted a tuber px which looks a bit similar for a Texan betony plant of theirs--mine is a "Wood betony," supposedly.

It was rather interesting--apparently betony parasitizes the roots of other plants in some way. Maybe that is why the tuber had no stem or root attachments discernable.

When I purchased my betony plant, it was woody, but all the posted px see are succulent herbs, so I still lack absolute certainty, though.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 1:57PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Plant it and see what comes up. :)

Although now I'm curious. I might just have to dig up on of my wood betony's just to see that white root. The picture in the "Name" forum was really unbelievable - shiny and white does describe it!


    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 3:10PM
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Let me know what you find.

The roots seem insufficient, so they go into the roots of other plants to get nutrients. They don't kill other plants, but limit their growth somewhat.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 3:55AM
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