Plants' programs of development can be considered evolved traits. If this is correct, then we should be able to detect variation among clones in developmental traits and demonstrate that this variation leads to fitness differences. Here we report variation in three developmental traits: timing of shoot emergence and senescence and the timing of shoot type determination. We demonstrate significant variation among colonies for all three traits. A reciprocal transplant experiment in the field goes on to demonstrate that the timing of emergence and senescence has both a genetic and environmental component. Variation in emergence and senescence date should effect clonal resource dynamics while variation in the timing of shoot type determination should effect how both short and long term environmental variation influences the demographic trajectory and, hence, fitness of different clones. Further reciprocal transplant experiments are needed to demonstrate genetic variation in the timing of shoot type determination.

Key words: Berberidaceae, developmental programs, phenological traits, Podophyllum pelatum