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...but hold! I've nailed the bugger! A runner is a ... but my own beating heart can be a bit stiller.

I like "stonolifer", but what if it's rhizomatous after all? Any chance the word Echo wants is "clone"? Probably not.

I think I see Echo's God's-eye-view mental image, and I like what I see: in computese, a sort of tree, but going out in all directions from the parent, not from a single stem. The computer's binary process can't offer us an analogy here, as its diagrammatic equivalent is (I think) fuzzy logic, and the last thing we want in this case is fuzziness. You're right that it wouldn't work with rhizomes, as the connections wouldn't be visible above ground.

Yes, the resultant plantlets are clones, but that doesn't carry the striking image of mechanical connection to the original. Cuttings are clones. I don't actually think the language can make this image fly with a single word, or even three: sometimes it just has to remain in the poet's mind while he goes off and looks for something familiar for publication.
But I hope I'll see those generations of strawberry plants till the day I die. Beautiful. Thanks, Echo.

what chain of as species; to

rhizome? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhizome

He's describing the habit of a strawberry plant, among others. The above-ground offsets of strawberries are called "runners". Rhizomes are ... field of bracken to consist essentially of a single plant. I don't know a single word for echo's resounding question.

Right. I knew that rhizomes are underground, but I didn't recognise that the question was about runners above ground.

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I want to use something as a simile, but I can't think of what it is. It is a kind ... explanations as to why succeeding generations are punished for the guilt of their forefathers; they are basically the same thing.

The various botanical explanations suggest your chosen example may be unsuitable as a simile for divine justice. These explanations reach the point where you have to decide whether a group of clones constitutes many individuals or a single community like coral. The point is relevant since Jehovah promises to punish sinners and their descendants (but not necessarily fellow-citizens of the same community). Of course the Bible offers other examples where communities are punished for the sins of some individuals.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
I want to use something as a simile, but I can't think of what it is. It is a kind ... in a new root, and reproduces itself, forming a chain of clusters; each plant has leaves spreading out from it;

Sounds like the bamboo in my garden that I've been trying to kill for the last 15 years without success.

Rob Bannister