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Aldrovanda Anyone?


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#1 rsivertsen

 
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Posted 05 May 2008 - 21:48 PM

Hey guys,

I'll have enough Aldrovanda by July to sell to anyone who wants to try growing these amazing plants.

I'm not sure if there is enough interest, don't even know what the going rate for them is, just putting up this "feeler" to see how many are really interested in giving this plant a shot.

Here's a few things you should know about these plants:

1. They are a mixed bag of two Japanese strains (mostly*), Kyoto and Tokyo.
2. About 5% or less of this population seems to be a "giant" form, (grows to be about twice the normal size) and only gets this size under certain conditions, which I think I've finally figured out.
3. They are NOT from tissue culture, nor harvested from the wilds or native, indigenous and protected populations, but from my own privately owned pond in Northwestern New Jersey, USA, where they've been growing for the last 8 years.
4. *There is a slight possibility that some may have been hybridized with a red form from either (several forms from) Australia, Africa or Hungary as I grew them all in galvanized wire cages in close proximity when they all flowered a few years ago. Some seem to already exhibit some rusty red-brown color, but that may also be due to the high iron content of the water, or something else. One red form is definitely naturalized in there now, but it's just getting established; not sure yet which strain it is, and I don't offer this up for sale yet.

So, let me know if anyone's interested, and we'll figure out how to get them out to you.
Those in the UK, or elsewhere in Europe, might get together to pool your resources into a single point of contact, (such as a distributor), who can arrange for the paperwork, and then divvy up the plants upon arrival.

This will also give you enough time to construct a small pond-like feature, and have it "season" well by the time the plants are sent out, and I will also answer any and all questions regarding these things here. I would also suggest that you get at least 10 to 20 plants or more to start. They are very finicky sometimes, but when they hit the right combination of requirements, they grow incredibly fast; otherwise, they go into decline, and die incredibly fast.

I'll have enough for anyone who's interested thoughout the rest of this growing season, even if you don;t succeed the first attempt.
As the topic description notes, any reasonable trade is also in the offing, send me a PM. :sun_bespectacled:

- Rich

#2 jimscott

 
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Posted 06 May 2008 - 13:32 PM

Ah.... you twisted my arm! Sent ya a PM.

#3 obregon562

 
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Posted 07 May 2008 - 01:38 AM

ooohhhh! i'd be VERY interested in this! please reserve me some! :)

#4 rsivertsen

 
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Posted 07 May 2008 - 14:02 PM

Posted Image Posted Image

How do you intend to grow them?

They need the close companionship of monocot plants that produce massive root systems, and the Aldrovanda grows just a few inches above those roots with the decaying leaf litter and detritus of those plants along with some clay. They need a constant source of CO2, supplied by the respiration of the roots of these plants, along with the detritus cycle, and a high population density of the zooplankon, (which only occurs in shallow, ankle deep, marginal areas of a pond), and are a constituent member of a complex symbiotic community, involving small snails, copepods, and the entire zooplankton community, and can not live well for very long without that close and intimate proximity to the other members of this symbiotic niche.

I've tried for years to grow them in various containers, fish tanks and all, but they invariably got chocked to death by algae and died. Now I realize that it's not the chemistry of the water, but the Biology that's the critical factor in growing them well. Even in this pond, there are areas that become waist deep in just a few feet away from where they grow nestled in the hummocks of Juncus and Carex. The water chemistry and temperature and even exposure is the same, but the biology of the water is very different. Those strands that drift out into those deeper areas will go into decline unless they get windswept into another shallow area of hummocks, or a Phragmites bed.

In these conditions, algae goes into decline in the presence of Aldrovanda and disappears altogether, even when I scoop up a cloud of filamentous algae drifting nearby, and toss it directly into a bunch of Aldrovanda; within two days, there's not even a trace of any algae! I'm not entirely sure I understand why, or how, but that is my observation after eight years of "farming" these plants in this shallow pond. It still amazes me!

They don't even grow well in acidic peat bogs and ponds, but prefer a fresh water marsh condition, with neutral pH (7.0), and loves to have the bottom muck and silt churned up to make the water very cloudy and murky, even to the point where the water gets soupy and becomes a thin mud and loose slurry of detritus, very dirty water, the dirtier, the better! This releases minerals from the clay and detritus, stirs up all those small creatures that live in the detritus, and causes the water to warm up. The strands get coated with the silt, but in a few days, when the water clears, the strands seem to take a quantum leap in growth.

They also do best in shallow water, no more than 6 inches deep (ankle deep). In the pond, the best strands are growing in only 4 inches or less of free standing water, along side those marginal plants, sometimes in only a thin film of water, barely enough to cover them.

There's more than enough of them in my pond this year, no chance of me running out, but I do like to know that they're going to have a chance in their new home. When they are in peak form, they will double their entire population (apical growth points) every week!

You can throw together a quick shallow pond from the home and garden centers using those decorative blocks to frame out a small pond and black rubber pond liner. Try to get real pond or lake water harvested from the shallow embankments, where the population density of the zooplankon community is the greatest, throw in some ornamental grasses, Carex, Juncus, etc, and leave a little clearing for the Aldrovanda, and it should work. They also need a lot of direct sunlight.

I had my son help me pull out some duckweed and prolific water lily plants from that pond last year, and he noticed that the Aldrovanda were growing in the millions, and told me that if I could get a few dollars for each of these plants, I could be doing alright! But I'm not a great salesman, and it's more important to me that they find a successful new home and make someone else as amazed as I am, and not go through the agony of watching them go into decline, consumed in algae, and fade away. ;)

Good luck!

- Rich

Edited by rsivertsen, 07 May 2008 - 14:19 PM.


#5 jimscott

 
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Posted 08 May 2008 - 13:46 PM

Thank you for the cultivation tips. I may be able to reproduce those rough conditions in the boglike dperession area next to our apartment complex. But what about winter in Wstern NY? Would they survive being frozen?

#6 rsivertsen

 
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Posted 08 May 2008 - 18:17 PM

Hey Jim,

My Aldrovanda freezes solid every winter, I've even seen their dormant turions frozen inside a solid block of ice, and they tolerate it just fine!

Your bog-like depression sounds like a good idea. I hope they'll get enough full sun exposure. This site of mine was the LAST place I ever expected to see them alive again! But turns out to be the ONLY one in which they naturalized. Go figure! So, go for it! :(

- Rich

#7 jimscott

 
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Posted 09 May 2008 - 16:55 PM

I replied by Email.

#8 Alexander Nijman

 
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Posted 29 May 2008 - 02:08 AM

The temperate forms of Aldrovanda seems to like a continental climate. In Europe they are found as far north as the Ladoga Lake east of Sint Petersburg. They grow there in the southeastern part of the lake in a wetlandarea. More sites are still found in Poland, Ukraine and European Russia. And 1 in Switzerland, 1 in France and maybe in Germany east of Berlin.
In the Russian far east Aldrovanda is present in the Khingansky Zapovednik in the Amur-river valley and Lake Khanka north of Vladivostok. Winters there are very cold, minus 40 degrees Celcius and colder. But warm summers. So the climate has similarities with Eastern North America.

Chemistry is important by the way. Aldrovanda needs the right chemical balance combinated with other ecological factors like plants and animals. For example snails eat the algae. And other waterplants extract to much nutrions from the water. And to mimic a healthy natural bog or pond is not always that easy!
For succesfully Aldrovanda cultivation companion plants are important.
More info on Lubomir Adamecs Aldrovanda-website and an article in Dionee (in French).

Alexander

#9 Alexander Nijman

 
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Posted 29 May 2008 - 02:12 AM

Rich,

Maybe you should tell Lubomir Adamec about your Aldrovanda project. I have corresponded with him
about my succesfull introduction of Aldrovanda from Poland in The Netherlands last year.

Alexander

#10 rsivertsen

 
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Posted 29 May 2008 - 02:33 AM

Hey Alex,

Lubomir Adamec and I are old friends going back many years!

We often discuss various relationships with these plants and their growing conditions.

- Rich

Edited by rsivertsen, 29 May 2008 - 02:34 AM.


#11 jimscott

 
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Posted 29 May 2008 - 14:19 PM

BTW, that is a very impressive picture / video!