By Meg Bentley
Registered Salvia Collection
Adventitious roots at the base
Also known as prop roots, adventitious roots arise from lower nodes and provide support to a stem.
Root development is promoted by *auxin which is naturally present in the cuttings [*auxin: a class of substances in minute amounts which regulate the growth of plants - especially the root formation].
Leaf cuttings taken from plants like African Violets and Begonias are known to develop roots on the stem ... but it was very interesting to take a leaf (stem and leaf) of Salvia and insert it into potting mix which then eventually developed roots - forming a new plant of Salvia.
The ones I've tried so far are SaIvia chinensis and S. oxyphora. One can imagine roots forming along a hairy stem or hairs at the base of a stem, but these two are rather glabrous and showed no visible hairs. These roots, formed on a stem, are called 'adventitious roots' [Latin: adventitious, coming from outside], broadly meaning any root that emerges from an unusual position - such as growing on a leaf or stem.