News FocusSOCIETY FOR INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY, 3–7 JANUARY 2010, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Rattan Stuck in a Growth Mode

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Science  12 Feb 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5967, pp. 776-777
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5967.776-b

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Summary

The world's tallest vines, the rattan palms, dwarf other floral giants, even the biggest redwoods. At the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting, botanists reported how they manage this feat: Like woody vines, rattan palms vary the flexibility of their stem along its length. But instead of laying down woody tissue, they shed their leaf sheath as they grow.