node [ nohd ] noun: the point on a stem where a leaf or leaves are, or have been attached; the point at which subsidiary parts (buds, adventitious roots) begin to grow; the solid construction on a culm; a knot, swelling, or enlarged lump
Nodes are areas from which active cells develop buds that can grow into stems, leaves, or flowers. They are important considerations when pruning. It is good practice to prune a stem just above, but not too close, to a node on the side toward which you want the plant to grow. The space between nodes is called an internode. Its length depends on genetics, and also other considerations such as light. On the other hand, when making herbaceous and softwood stem cuttings for propagation, it is good practice to have at least three sets of leaves on the stem with the bottom cut occurring just below a node, from which the roots will grow.
Nodes on stolons and on underground stems such as tubers and rhizomes are the starting points from which new plants root, bud, and grow. Potatoes, for example, grow from “eyes” that are actually nodes.
Left to right: Pinched back with new growth at nodes, nodes with petioles and axillary buds, culm nodes with compressed internodes, stolon nodes with developing roots, rhizome nodes with developing shoots, tuber eyes with sprouts.
Lee, Dr. Chiwon. Potato Propagation. Plant Propagation PLSC 368. North Dakota State University
Lerner R. Welch-Keesey M. New Plants From Cuttings (HO-37-W). Purdue Extension Publication. Purdue University.
North Carolina Extension Gardener Handbook 3. Botany. North Carolina State Extension.
Potatoes. Updated: May 16, 2022. University of Maryland Extension.
Vegetative Plant Parts. Oregon State University. Extension Service.
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