Chimaera

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Posts posted by Chimaera


  1. At risk of Nepenthes specialists rolling their eyes with this old question...

    I have been given a "supermarket" Nepenthes, presumably ventricosa or a similar hybrid, that has already had the 'first batch' of pitchers removed before I got it, and is now growing fast (grown from 20 to nearly 50 cm in 4 months) but not forming pitchers. There are tendrils with a terminal 'club' on the leaves but these eventually shrivel rather than form pitchers. It appears to be 2 plants within a small l' hanging pot' and is in a west facing bathroom (alongside various orchids). Can I encourage pitcher growth or does it happen when the plant wants to? Should  I repot and divide it and move it to another room, or maybe move it to an unheated greenhouse for the summer once the weather gets warmer? Can I encourage each plant to branch rather than grow as a single stem?

    Charlie


  2. Has anyone tried to replicate Darwin's classic experiment on the reason some plants are carnivores?

    As far as I can tell he placed items that were carbon rich and nitrogen poor (bread, sugar water) on some leaves of sundew, and some nitrogen rich, carbon poor (meat, his urine) on others, and only the latter caused the leaves to close up showing they needed the nitrates. I tried to with D. capensis but the leaves did not noticeably respond in any case (and only slightly to insects). I assume he used one of the native species. I would like to replicate and photograph this for teaching and general interest.


  3. Hi, 

    I am Charlie, I use the name Chimaera after a group of strange fishes I do research on.

    I am in North London and got introduced to carnivores a long time ago when I was working in Madagascar and saw pitchers in the wild there. I later got some unnamed Sarra hybrids, but being in a flat couldn't overwinter them so gave the survivors away. Fast forward 15 years and after having to let an allotment plot go, last year my 6year old some got me a wild-type VFT as a present (for himself I suspect), and later got s couple of Sarras and a D. capensis (on which i tried to replicate Darwin's 'urine experiment' without clear success). These have done so well in a cold greenhouse that I have recently bought a few more plants while they are dormant, mostly wild type species of Sarra and a couple of others. Looking forward to seeing them grow in  Spring. 

    Please be prepared for some "I have answered this one dozens of times before" questions.