Professor John Pate gave me a copy of his memoir publications when he retired and thinking that they may be a trifle dry, I kept them for bedside reading. I couldn’t have been more wrong and actually couldn’t put the one on his university career down.
I learnt a lot and his work inspired a Foxypress on hemiparasites and now micro stilt plants, that mainly occur in south-west Australia. These have an aerial root system like mangroves or strangler figs but occur on small plants like some triggerplants, sundews and most obviously Laxmannia squarrosa.
For years I have noticed exposed roots on Laxmannia plants and marvelled at the amount of soil erosion occurring.
After the seedling stage the plants elevate themselves 1-2cm above the ground on stiff fibrous roots to reduce their exposure to heat. In summer, the soil temperature can get up to 50 degrees C but is 6-10 degrees cooler 2cm up.
Tough little plants.