plants on whose superterranean parts small green plantlets form, fall to the ground, and then develop into adult individuals (vivipary). In many mangrove forests large shoots develop in fruit still hanging on the trees. The germination of standing crops in cereal grains is superficially similar to this phenomenon; however, the ripe grains that begin to grow have already lost their physiological connection with the mother plant. Other viviparous plants form leafy shoots (saxifrage, stonecrop), bulblets (some meadow grasses), or tubercles (buckwheat) instead of flowers. These viviparous plants inhabit predominantly polar, highland, dry-steppe, and desert regions, where the vegetative period may be too short for seeds to mature. In their mode of reproduction they are closely related to plants that propagate vegetatively by means of air nodules on their bulblets or by superterranean stolons (toothwort, lilies, houseleek). A number of viviparous plants (Bryophyllum and some tropical ferns) have aggregates of meristem cells on the leaves, out of which green plantlets grow.
N. I. SHORINA