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(1) In plants, a lateral shoot with long, slender inter-nodes and underdeveloped leaves that serves as a device for vegetative propagation. Unlike rhizomes, stolons have a short life-span, usually dying during their first year or after overwintering. Developing on stolonate tips are young rosetted shoots (in strawberries, saxifrages, houseleeks, cinquefoils), tubers (in potatoes), squamous tubercles (in starflowers), or bulbils (in certain species of tulips). Stolons may be above or below ground; in the latter case they are called runners.
(2) In animals, an outgrowth of the body of a colonial multicellular organism. Asexual reproduction is effected by budding of the stolons. Stolons are typical of certain coelenterates, Bryozoa, Pterobranchia, and tunicates. The buds of new individuals—the members of a colony—are formed on a stolon.