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  1. Hi, can anyone point me to a paper/article on experimenting with different growing media with VFTs? I am sure I read something somewhat scientific many years ago but I can't for the life of me find anything on the internet now. Thanks, nick
  2. Thanks Phil. Yes that was the closest I could find as it has the sepals sticking out between each flower, but it's clearly an atypical specimen so I was not at all confident. I shall have to look to see if i can find some nearby. Cheers, Nick
  3. Hey, Can anyone Id this plant? It's popped up this year in a tub with a red banana plant. It looks a lot like a native orchid albeit stretched a bit and the leaves are more grass like than I'd expect. Where it's come from I have no idea... The banana is a b&q bargain and it's been in that pot for about 5 years, albeit not always in this position. I've never noticed anything there before but then i've only just noticed this now. I'm in far south devon and you do sometimes see orchids in the fields and verges locally. I think I'd expect the crown to be a lot tighter if it was a purple or spotted orchid but maybe growing in the shade has made it elongate a little. Thanks, Nick
  4. Thanks for the ID's buster. I always like to find out what it is I've actually seen. First time I've been in a proper bit of jungle for about 15 years, I forgot how much I enjoy it. I shall have to carefully search for more "family" holidays that are accidentally next to national parks...
  5. Sorry, forgot to check this thread, thanks guys. The cicada was an amazing colour and just sitting beside the trail. I can't identify it at all tbh, I guess it probably isn't really a cicada, but I don't know what else you would call it.
  6. Ah, thanks Marcello, one of yours I see. Do you know anything about the spiders, out of interest? Every pitcher seemed to have one and they went to hide at the bottom of the under the liquid (i think... it was hard to see if there was any) when I went close. I did not spend too long examining but I could see no prey in any pitchers.
  7. Hi, on a recent short trip to Thailand I had half a day to climb a hill and this is what I found. Well the first hour was hot, steep and completely nep free. Not even any orchids to peer at. Neither, I guess, are understorey plants. I heard gibbons in the distance shortly after I set out (about 8am) but sadly nothing more after that and the biggest animal I saw on the way up was a Cicada. After a while I reached a ridge and then a lookout point that obviously had a very different microclimate to the surrounding forest. Many ferns and lower trees; exposed bedrock and sandy soil. Orchids (mainly coelgyne and bulbophyllum I think) on every surface, but particularly the exposed rock edges. Good view but no sign of any neps. Another hour and a bit took me back into the jungle before reaching the peak proper, which was obviously a different ecosystem again: mostly exposed rock (presumably limestone) with sand and little soil and scrubby trees. Though obviously very exposed to both wind and much rain it still felt very dry. And Lo! neps in abundance! The first patch was exciting to find; after the 10th they began to pale... They are obviously very common on this peak, though a single species only, and are very established: whole bushes of them 4ft plus were common. The peak area was fairly small but they were probably amongst the commonest plants on it. I cannot positively ID the species however. I could not find any lower pitchers at the time, though annoyingly I can see one now blurred in the background of one of the pics, but I am guessing it is some form of N. gracilis, though it must also be well with the range of N. andaman. The peak height is around 500m. Interestingly there seemed to be very little liquid inside and almost every single pitcher had a spider in residence. Sadly it appears I was in the wrong season for orchids: though abundant on the peaks and exposed overhangs, I found only two in flower. One was a spectacular Dendrobium right beside the path, the other Coelogyne sp, possibly trinervis, though they were not in a location I wanted to get much closer to to find out (pic 5, above). A little more wildlife was met on the way down: a large monitor lizard scarpered off the trail in front of me and one of it's smaller cousins posed for a photo. Exactly zero birdlife however. Cheers, nick
  8. My Alpina, growing in a SE facing window: This is it's second year and it started out as about 4 leaves and a couple of bulbs. The flowers are about 2 inches across. I must have accidentally got conditions exactly right for it. Not so for it's Vanda neighbour...
  9. Wow. I never thought I'd see anything that pretty in Mansfield ;)
  10. I went to see this at the start of May and I have to agree with Maxxima: it was awful. Too hot and too dry. They are tucked away in a little glass room on their own when they'd be much happier out in the main space with the other plants getting sprayed every 10 minutes. I did get to see the Jade vine flowering though, and the temperate house before it closes for 8 years or something.
  11. I know it's been mentioned above but a fish shop is definitely the place to look for "fancy" sands. Have a look in your local Maidenhead Aquatics if there is one or somewhere online, eg or Postage is normally fairly steep for sand though and if you really want your sand shipped in from Sarawak you're going to pay through the nose ;)
  12. nicklott

    Byblis Guehoi

    Thanks for the info and great pics PofW. I've just managed to get a very few guehoi seeds and will try them myself now cheers, nick PS I found Allen Lowrie's original paper on it here: It has nice details of it's natural habitat and photos of it in the wild, plus a handy comparison with other species.
  13. nicklott

    Byblis Guehoi

    Stumbled across this today, quite by accident:;thread=1634 Anyone know anything else about this? Is it in culture yet? It looks like an incredible plant, especially with those flowers. Also from the comments it appears to be more cold tolerant, which can only be a good thing here...
  14. Hi, I planted (if you could call it that) 6 drosophyllum seeds just before xmas. I now have 4 little seedlings, one just starting on it's second set of leaves. They are kept very wet on a south facing windowsill. This is by far the best germination rate I've had for drosophyllum (or in fact anything except capensis). I've always tried in spring or autumn before but I've only got one to even germinate, out of about 20 seeds. The seeds had been kept in the fridge since last summer (including being frozen into the ice at the back!), so that may have helped. They were soaked in water for 24 hours before being placed on top of a gravel/sand/peat mix in separate peat pots. We haven't had much sun here since christmas, but that doesn't seem to have stopped them. nick
  15. Hi there, I'm afraid I can't comment on Borneo, but if you're in that part of the world, with no particular itinerary, I can highly recommend a visit to Lake Toba and North Sumatra. Last time I went was before I knew what a nep was so I can't really comment on their availability, but it is prime highland territory, with a couple of endemic species to boot, so they may not be too hard to find. Advantages over Malaysia are: Cheapness (15000 rp to the £!), tourist facilities (15 years ago Toba was the centre of the tourist industry in the region. Since Suharto went and the currency crashed the visitor numbers have plummeted. The hotels are still there though, and you can get a 4 star room for $4 a night!) and particularly for nep hunting, the proximity of the jungle. You don't need permits, guides etc, you can easily just hack off the road and up the crater walls, or hire a bike/car and head really high on the roads. You won't of course find the spectacular rajah's etc, and I think serious Nep hunters might be disappointed, but if you're just sort of wandering it's well worth the trip. Also on N Sumatra you can see Raffelsia in Bukit Tinggi and Orang Utans in Bukit Lawang (if they've finished rebuilding it). Plus you might find a tiger, if you're really (un)lucky. Easiest way there is to fly to Medan from KL, and I guess you'd have to go through KL to get to Sarawak anyway, so not too arduous or out of the way. Anyway, digression over. Have fun!