Letter | Published:

Root Formation on Cuttings of Camellia reticulata var. ‘Capt. Rawes’

Nature volume 204, pages 601602 (07 November 1964) | Download Citation



MOST camellias will form roots readily on cuttings, but the C. reticulata cultivar, ‘Capt. Rawes’, is a notable exception. Failure to induce roots in cuttings of this camellia, despite the use of modern techniques such as growth regulators, etc., has led to the belief that it is unable to form roots, and several reasons have been put forward to account for this. It may be due to anatomical features, such as fibre, creating mechanical resistance1 or the presence of inhibitors which prevent root formation2 or the absence of some internal factor which is essential for root formation. Went3 first postulated the presence of such a factor which he termed ‘rhizocaline’, but the presence of a single substance of this nature has never been demonstrated. Hess4 has shown, however, that certain substances which are present in the juvenile form of Hedera helix, but absent in the mature form, could account for the failure of the mature form to initiate roots on cuttings. He has described these substances as ‘co-factors of rooting’.

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  1. 1.

    , Nature, 192, 954 (1961).

  2. 2.

    , Report Fourteenth Intern. Hort. Cong., 239 (1955).

  3. 3.

    , Plant Physiol., 13, 55 (1938).

  4. 4.

    , Proc. Plant Prop. Soc., 39 (Dec. 1959).

  5. 5.

    , thesis, Cornell University (1957).

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  1. Department of Horticulture, Massey University College of Manawatu, Palmerston North, New Zealand.



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