Day 1: Smooth sumac stems popped into a jar of tap water. ….. waiting, waiting waiting …….
Day 39: One of the sumac stems (stem #1) is showing life. The terminal bud and first lateral bud appear to be swelling and greening up a bit. Very promising. Unfortunately stem #2 may have fallen victim to rough treatment (or a curious cat?).
Day 45: Stem #1 is definitely full of life. The scales on the terminal bud have begun to open and immature leaves are breaking free. very cool. Stem #2 …… has shriveled up and I must assume there’s no hope of recovery. very sad
Day 47: The terminal bud from Stem #1 is actively growing. I can begin to make out the compound leaf arrangement. The color of the bud scales is becoming a darker shade of green; the emerging leaves are bright spring green. Although the first lateral bud is still green, it seems to have stopped swelling. All of the stem’s energy is feeding the leaf development in the terminal bud.
Day 51: Wow! The growth of the emerging leaves from the terminal bud is rapid. The bud scales are almost fully open; there are at least 5 compound leaves emerging, all of varying stages of development; there are at least 10 leaflets per compound leaf, and they look to be evenly pinnate.
Is it too late to plant the stem in soil? How much more growth will take place if the stem remains in water? Will the bud scales the bud scales continue to open even more, continue to darken, fall off? how many leaves will emerge, and how many leaflets will each leaf have? Does this development mirror what will happen in the field? Will this winter botany study turn into a spring-in-the-field study?
For another update, read Winter Botany Study, Part 3