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    Sunny Sussex
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    Writing, drinking, good food, bad music, plants (obviously)
  1. Just to add to what Nick said... It's true that most countries supporting Nepenthes are not currently major partners of the Millennium Seed Bank project (with a few exceptions - we've had N. madagascariensis in the Bank for several years), but that doesn't automatically prevent us accepting seed collections. In order for us to take seeds of any species we just need to know that they have been collected in accordance with local, national and international law. CITES only affects a couple of species, I believe, so we are mainly talking about permission from the landowner (if required) and permission from the government to export. Now, that makes it sound simple, and of course it isn't, but it does mean that we can accept material from pretty much any country, as long as the necessary conditions are fulfilled. We have even been known to take seeds from cultivated plants where the origins of the wild 'ancestor' are well-documented. There was an initiative to collect and conserve seeds of N. clipeata, which we fully supported, but that seems to have stalled for the time being. There is a widely-held belief that Nepenthes seeds are very short-lived, but I have carried out (very limited) trials and had success at storing seeds at -20C. I suspect the problem is that seeds are rarely dried down thoroughly before storage - no point storing them in the fridge if they are still moist, viability will drop rapidly. We have a portable drying system using silica gel which would be ideal for field use in the wet tropics, if only I could persuade anybody to use it (hint, hint, Sockhom, Stewart McPherson et al!) All the best, Steve Millennium Seed Bank Kew
  2. Mine went crazy with basal shoots, to the point where I cut the main vine off, got 2 cuttings out of it, and the basals have now grown to the size of the original.
  3. A typo for 'fishfood flakes', maybe? Steve
  4. Crikey - you don't see 'Fiddler on the Roof' quoted very often these days. Respect Steve
  5. Most of my highland Neps are doing really well this winter - it's the first time I've had artificial lighting in the greenhouse (125W Envirolite on in the mornings and evenings to give 12 hours), and my electric heater is managing to maintain a steady 8-10C nighttime minimum. The result is pitchers and vigorous growth on all the highlanders - except N. aristolochioides In fact, it doesn't seem to have grown at all since the end of summer - no new leaves, no nothing. Is this species particularly fussy? It sits next to N. rajah, which grows incredibly slowly for me but does at least grow. But the aristo seems to be in suspended animation (at least it isn't dying!) Compost is the same for all of 'em - chopped sphagnum/orchid bark/hint of peat 'n' perlite. Watering is from above, though they sit in a tray with drainage holes that retains no more than 5mm of water (and even this dries out between waterings). Watered with rain water. Any sugestions as to how I could make the little chap happier? Steve
  6. You weren't in a hurry, were you, Bruce?
  7. Here's a slightly more technical summary of the same paper: What's that award they give out for research that proves the blindingly obvious? Just kidding - I'm sure it's a great study... Steve
  8. One of the plants at Kew is flowering too: Kew's Amorphophallus Page Steve
  9. Malifex

    Grow Lights

    I agree with Joel. I'm using a 125W Envirolite backed with a reflector to extend the day-length in my greenhouse, with good results. Steve
  10. This is a useful guide to the altitude ranges of Neps in the wild. Just a guide, though - obviously latitude has an effect, as well as a whole range of other factors: I'm sure I used to have a link to an English version, but I don't have it to hand. Steve
  11. <Seed Bank hat> Actually, glassine isn't fantastic either. You really need something breathable, and glassine is actually quite impermeable to moisture. It's also (apparently) slightly acidic in reaction. Plain paper is the best thing - no static, and no 'sweating'. </Seed Bank hat>
  12. Congratulations! Excellent job... Steve
  13. Flower buds on the way on mine. Steve