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Author Topic: Define "dappled shade"...  (Read 596 times)

KarenRei

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Define "dappled shade"...
« on: January 17, 2018, 08:45:36 AM »
How do you interpret the phrase "dappled shade" in cultivation descriptions?  So far I've been working with three shade categories: "full shade" / "deep shade" -> "part shade" / "half shade" / "part sun" / "half sun" -> "full sun".

"Dappled shade" of course means that you have a spot that's shady but light is shining through in patches, as is common beneath trees.  But is that equivalent to "full shade" or "part shade"?  Or is it a new category in-between?  In my mind I picture part shade as being like, you have a plant that has a shadow cast on it by a tree for part of the day (a shadow that's probably in itself dappled), then in full sun for the rest.  With such a perspective, dappled shade would be darker, equivalent to full shade.  But I imagine that people adding the adjective "dappled" are trying to indicate that it's brighter than full shade.  Meaning that full shade would have to be like the forest floor of a deep, dense rainforest where almost no light makes it to the bottom (and thus very few plants would qualify as tolerating full shade)

How do you interpret it?
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Solko

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 04:28:56 AM »
That is a good question.

I wouldn't know anything about an official interpretation of the terms, but I myself do intuitively distinguish between the two. I have lost some Salvia species when i planted them in part shade, while another patch in dappled shade thrived. The way I see it is that it has to do with the plants capacity to pump up water in dry air conditions. The salvia's that were in three hours of continuous sun, either morning sun or midday sun just got wilted leaves the moment the sun hit, and that progressed to dead leaf edges and finally the plants dying. The ones in dappled shade also had wilted leaves sometimes, when patches of sunlight hit, but because sun and shade alternate throughout the day, the evaporation never truly outpaced the water their roots could pump up. They did better than the ones in full shade, which also survived, but never really grew much.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 04:33:01 AM by Solko »
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fruitlovers

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 05:56:24 AM »
Dappled shade = filtered sunlight. The kind of condition that you get when you use shade cloth. That is very different from full shade, where no sun shines through, or partial shade, where you may have shade for x number of hours and sun for x number of hours.
Oscar

KarenRei

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 05:59:44 AM »
That's a good point.  I think I should probably have a separate "dappled shade" category in my spreadsheet to make the distinction. PFAF doesn't have one in their database, yet the descriptions on both PFAF and Useful Tropical Plants frequently mention it, and it seems an important distinction.  When planting / placing I should probably lean toward the "too much" shade perspective rather than "too little", as that term seems suggestive of the plant having trouble with more than brief exposure to direct sunlight.
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Paquicuba

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 08:16:23 AM »
Dappled shade to me is like the shade a plant gets under the canopy of a palm tree. That is, the plant or just parts of the plant will be exposed to direct sunlight for a few seconds to a few a minutes max then back to the shade of the palm tree (depending on the wind speed and canopy cover of course,) so the plant has time to cool off. It's like an on/off switch between sunlight and shade or nature's auto sun/shade mode - once the plant is uncomfortable being hit directly by the sun's rays, it's switched to shade mode and after it cools off and it's ready for some extra direct light, it's switched to sunlight mode.

ricshaw

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 11:48:18 AM »
Dappled shade = filtered sunlight. The kind of condition that you get when you use shade cloth. That is very different from full shade, where no sun shines through, or partial shade, where you may have shade for x number of hours and sun for x number of hours.

Wouldn't there be different levels of "dappled shade"...  like 30%, 50%, 70%, etc.?

KarenRei

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 12:04:33 PM »
Dappled shade to me is like the shade a plant gets under the canopy of a palm tree. That is, the plant or just parts of the plant will be exposed to direct sunlight for a few seconds to a few a minutes max then back to the shade of the palm tree (depending on the wind speed and canopy cover of course,) so the plant has time to cool off. It's like an on/off switch between sunlight and shade or nature's auto sun/shade mode - once the plant is uncomfortable being hit directly by the sun's rays, it's switched to shade mode and after it cools off and it's ready for some extra direct light, it's switched to sunlight mode.

But that sounds awfully similar to what one thinks of when they refer to "full shade".  Full shade isn't like a pitch black room, it's... well, dappled, no?  Otherwise, nothing would grow there.  But clearly there's going to be different levels of dappling... more sun than shade will hit the floor of an ironwood forest, while a forest floor in the amazon may only occasional small beams of light hitting it, but they're both forms of dappling...
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fruitlovers

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 04:48:24 PM »
Dappled shade = filtered sunlight. The kind of condition that you get when you use shade cloth. That is very different from full shade, where no sun shines through, or partial shade, where you may have shade for x number of hours and sun for x number of hours.

Wouldn't there be different levels of "dappled shade"...  like 30%, 50%, 70%, etc.?

Yes definitely. I prefer to use the term filtered sunlight. And when giving recommendation give the exact type of shade cloth to use. When you go over 85% shade cloth you start getting close to full shade. When using less than 30% shade cloth you get close to what is called partial shade. Depending on the climate, intensity of sun, exposure, the usual ideal for what is usually referred to filtered sunlight is 50 to 65% shade cloth.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 06:02:17 PM by fruitlovers »
Oscar

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 05:33:57 PM »
In my mind: dappled shade = filtered sunlight is a good equivalent. In my yard I have a bunch of moringa trees to create microclimate. They grow super fast (12-15 ft per year in my climate) and love the AZ summer heat. So they are fast growing trees to shade younger trees. But the canopy is not incredibly dense. So as such, everything underneath gets a little sun at noon and throughout. Not the full AZ noon sun, but "dappled shade". Most everything that is typically full sun sensitive seems to like these conditions.
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pineislander

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 10:23:31 PM »
Fine Gardening has this take on shade, and discussion of palisade cells.
http://www.finegardening.com/distinguishing-degrees-light-and-shade

Texas A&M (my alma mater) has these definitions:
https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/you_say_it's_partial_shade.htm

KarenRei

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2018, 05:31:09 AM »
Okay, interesting.  So it looks like I should break "light shade" off from the pack, and merge "dappled shade" in with "part shade".
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fruitlovers

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2018, 05:43:19 PM »
Okay, interesting.  So it looks like I should break "light shade" off from the pack, and merge "dappled shade" in with "part shade".
None of these are really precise terms. So it would be good to also give a little further explanation, just so they know exactly what you mean.
Oscar

KarenRei

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2018, 06:41:07 PM »
It's not a question of "they", it's a question of "us".   :)  When reading cultivation descriptions written by others, we need to know how to interpret them.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 06:57:03 PM by KarenRei »
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KarenRei

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2018, 06:50:41 PM »
It's not a question of "they", it's a question of "us".   :)  When reading cultivation descriptions written by others, we need to know how to interpret them.

(Ed: hmm. no delete option...)
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 06:57:53 PM by KarenRei »
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fruitlovers

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2018, 09:45:43 PM »
It's not a question of "they", it's a question of "us".   :)  When reading cultivation descriptions written by others, we need to know how to interpret them.
Yes, i think a lot of people burn their plants because 1 hour of sun is very different from 4 hours of sun.
Oscar

fruitlovers

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2018, 09:46:54 PM »
It's not a question of "they", it's a question of "us".   :)  When reading cultivation descriptions written by others, we need to know how to interpret them.
Yes, i think a lot of people burn their plants because 1 hour of sun is very different from 4 hours of sun.
You can't delete, but you can hit modify and remove all the text and leave it blank.
Oscar

pineislander

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2018, 08:12:46 AM »

KarenRei

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Re: Define "dappled shade"...
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2018, 09:05:53 AM »
That seems to be precisely the opposite of what's discussed above.  Sunflecks are what most people would describe as full/deep shade, where only occasional little beams of light shine through.

Is the short of it that "dappled shade" is a meaningless term because everyone uses it differently?
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