Mar 28, 2011 Views: 9163
Redefinition of Modified Leaves
Comparative Awareness: Modified Leaves of Cordyline fruticosa manifest at the same time with Poinsettia
by Prof. Isidro T. Savillo
Euphorbia pulcherrimaa, locally known as poinsettia is always considered by almost everyone as a Christmas flower because of its modified red leaves or bracts comprising the highest canopy or terminal portion of its branch. In the past years, these poinsettia heads displayed their red canopies as early as late November long enough to grace the Christmas season. Unfortunately, this is no longer happening. In natureb, modified leaves of poinsettia were observed to appear in mid to late February of this year (2011). Unaware, at this particular time, another plant a variety of Cordyline fruticosac whose leaves appearing dull green with faint violet streaks for long also transformed most of its canopy “whorls” to a striking reddish pink even completely in some individual leaves maybe resembling the similar phenomenon with that of the poinsettias. Development of these red canopy heads in pointsettia as well as color enhancements in Cordyline fruticosa may be due to some physical factors that may have climactic origins and was delayed in poinsettia as monitored. The bracts may be expected to assume the role of a reproductive enhancer for such inconspicuous yellow flowers.
This finding, a product of serendipity could come to our awareness that other tropical plants may be developing modified leaves unobserved in particular times of their lives.This may be complete or incomplete like in color transformation not as a product of senility but as a thriving component of a species is something that horticulturists and plant geneticists would have to think about. Modified leavesd have been extensively described and it may even include the basic floral organse. Why are our interests limited only to poinsettias? Other plants such as the Cordyline spp. may exhibit the same mechanisms as that of poinsettias that would lead to a more manageable, acceptable and universal identification and definition of modified leaves. This finding would bring forth the interest in the redefinition of the modified leaves by expanding its scientific meaning.
b Iloilo, Philippines