Monday, April 5

The Weirdness Chronicles: Spring Leaf Tear

I've spent a decent amount of time this spring pulling what I think of as "dead leaf collars" off of spring bulb foliage.  You know how the green spears of foliage come up and pierce through leaves, only to get choked and strangled by the wiry veins on those same leaves when they get larger?  That's what I mean.

I assumed that this piercing only happened to the brittle inside parts of dead/decaying leaves.  But then I discovered this:
 

I barely understand why the dead leaves get pierced (I always kind of assumed that they were somehow impaled upon the young foliage via the wind we get so regularly here) but I definitely do not get how a thick, healthy heuchera leaf falls prey to the pointy tip of tulip foliage.  Heuchera leaves are on fairly bendy stems... why wouldn't the tulip foliage just push it off to the side, if anything, as it sprouts and grows?

I confess, I do not get this at all.  What in the world is going on here?  Do any of my more scientific-minded friends have any good answers for me?  The question of "Why," is driving me a little crazy on this beautiful spring day!

11 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Sometimes ours is not to wonder why. It is one of natures miracles. I have seen this before, in my garden. To me it just goes to show how quickly a spurt of growth can push through a leaf. I mean look at the soil they come up through seemingly overnight. They have to be sharp and strong. I bet there is a scientific term for just this sort of happening. Amazing I call it.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

I have seen this happen too and wondered why the leaves just do not get shoved out of the way rather than piercing through them. I will be anxious to see if someone can tell us why this happens.

Gail said...

It must be an incredibly strong force pushing the tulip leaf up and through a healthy leaf...nature is amazing as Lisa said....gail

Meagan said...

Probably the same reason you sometimes see tree trunks and branches that seem to swell aroung chain link fences until they join on the other side... Or trees that enclose other trees entirely so you get unrelated Siamese twin trees. Maybe it's not so much the force as it is the pace... It can't push the leaves aside because the growth is too slow. No momentum. But it has to go somewhere... So it goes through. With trees and fences growing together it might be the same... Not enough force there to push it aside, instead it grows around.... And slowly slowly heals. Both kinda creepy now that I think of it. I'm going to have short story nightmares tonight.

Benjamin Vogt said...

A friend of mine has picks of somethign similar. Hey, who cares why--it's like, dude, way cool, righteous, far out, scha-wing.

Layanee said...

Sounds like a question for the Garden Professors at https://sharepoint.cahnrs.wsu.edu/blogs/urbanhort/default.aspx

I'll bet they can answer this one! Interesting question.

joey said...

Don't have a clue, dear Kim, but love how you question things. I think you're an 'old soul' and student of life, wanting to know the answers to many mysteries that most don't give a thought to. Spring hugs and enjoy this awesome weather.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

That is weird. Little gnomes in the night stabbing the leaves? I've never seen that, but then I don't have tulips planted cheek by jowl with Heuchera.

Stratoz said...

I am baffled in Pennsylvania... now I am more baffled ;')

lisa said...

This is a new one to me as well, I'd always seen only the dead leaves skewered. Like Benjamin-I think it's pretty far out, solid and right on! :)

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

I see this quite a bit, too. Really amazing, I think. Like straws being driven into tree trunks during a tornado. Forces of nature are just that!

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