Thursday, April 19, 2012

Love me tendril.

Now that the Orange muscat vines are at enough of an advanced stage that one can discern some distinct features of the grapevine, I thought I'd take a closer look at the various goings on at the tip of the new shoots.
In botany, plant morphology is the study of the specific forms and shapes of an organism.  A tenet of plant morphology is that there are three basic components of a higher plant (those having a vascular system); stem, leaf and root - all other plant structures are modifications of this trio of fundamental building blocks. Morphologically speaking Vitaceae, the family to which the grapevine belongs, is characterised by the occurrence of tendrils and inflorescences (both homologous organs) that emerge opposite leaves. The tendril of a grapevine is in actual fact a modified leaf whilst the inflorescence (or flower cluster) is a modified tendril.
The tendrils themselves are extremely interesting structures: pressure-sensitive modified leaves that reflect the climbing habit of the grapevine and occur in a repeating pattern (two on, one off) along the entire length of a shoot...blah, blah, blah!  It is the appearance of the modified tendrils, that usually form at the second and third position on a shoot, that I am most interested in and happy to see.  The modification of a tendril into a grapevine's flower cluster, and the successful pollination of those flowers, is the little miracle that translates into a future glass of wine.
Morph on little tendrils!

6 comments:

NHwineman said...

Vinogirl, "little miracle" is a reflection that the scientific mind still has a wonder about it; reminds me of nurse Mary who said to me: "When I first saw an autopsy I knew there was a God."
I love the "wonder", it brings out the child in us and gives meaning to all the complexity and is concerned with the "Why" and doesn't forget the "How"; the "blah, blah, blah," is always important, but what makes us special is our wonder and love of it.

Rate My Sausage said...

As a rough guide what sort of wine would you think fits best with sausages? Red, white, rose? I very rarely drink wine so I'm looking forward to some investigation from an expert!

Vinogirl said...

NHW: The blah, blah, blah is important, but a little too technical. And I really do believe that all plants, not just the fabulous grapevine, even weeds, are indeed little miracles.
Nurse Mary must've been on something a little stronger than wine!

RMS: Hmmm, interesting question. I suppose it really depends upon the sausage. I see I have some experimentation ahead of me - it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!

NHwineman said...

I think a good Chianti will go with most sausages, and with spicier sausages I would go with a good Zinfandel.
JMO

Do Bianchi said...

the title alone was worth the price of admission... I hear a song coming... :)

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Thank you for the suggestion - don't know about that pairing with a common or garden English breakfast sausage however. I may have something in mind.

2B: Sing it Do Bianchi!