Asexual reproduction does not involve sex cells or gametes (produced through meiosis). Rather, it is reproduction by mitosis allowing a new, genetically identical individual to be produced. Both methods of reproduction have advantages and disadvantages. Sexual reproduction allows genetic variation and allows the development of a population that is specifically adapted to its surroundings (and is therefore more likely to survive). However, when a very desirable combination of traits is found, sexual reproduction risks losing them in the randomness of the process. Asexual reproduction does not allow genetic variation, but guarantees reproduction (no dependence on others). It rapidly increases numbers of an organism and keeps its desired combination of traits. Many plants reproduce use a combination of sexual and asexual reproduction to get the benefits of both methods..

Types of Asexual Reproduction in Plants

Stolon:: an above ground runner from which plants roots can grow to start off a new plant

Wild strawberry plants connected by stolons.

Epiphyllum has roots that are preformed at the nodes along the stem. As the heavy stems bend over or break off coming in contact with the soil, the preformed roots will penetrate the soil and form a new attachment for the plant.

Rhizome: An underground runner that gives rise to new plants .

This quackgrass is a good example of that.

Paul displays a sample of Bindweed , a notorious invader of gardens due to its habit of sending long underground stems.

Tubers: underground storage stems (e.g. potato) from which new plants can grow after a dormant season.
Reka holds a clump of Jeruasalem Artichoke . The tubers are displayed close up.

Bulbs: underground storage units that divide by mitosis allowing many new plants to form new bulbs.
A hybrid Amaryllis is a good example of a bulb that can reach up to 12cm. in diameter.

This species of Garlic also produces flower-like heads with small bulbs developing in the head.

Nono checks out the Garlic bulbs. Shown here are the bulbs that divided underground , after one seasons growth.

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