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Scapes are fairly commonplace structures in ornamental garden plants.  These five pictures are just a few selected examples of scape bearing species; there are many more.

Typically, scapes are leafless, flower bearing structures that arise either directly from a bulb or corm shoot, or from a basal rosette of leaves.  Some are hollow (e.g. Stenomesson aurantiacum) with the vascular tissue around the outer wall of the hollow tube, in others (e.g. Agapanthus umbellatus) the cavity is filled with pith.  The scape of Lapeirousia cruenta is unusually narrow (less than 1/8"/3 mm) and contains vascular and support tissue instead of a cavity.

Scapes also occur in dicotyledons, examples shown here being Papaver orientale and Primula veris.

Not shown here, scapes are particularly common among the Liliaceae, Amaryllidaceae and Alliaceae, examples being daffodils (Narcissus cv.), tulips (Tulipa cv.), the ornamental Alliums (Allium cv.) and among wild weed species, like the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale).

As well as bearing flowers, the scape also bears the seed heads. Depending on the seed shedding habit of the species in question, this means that in some cases the scape will persist beyond the growing season into the autumn or winter.


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