Mark Long

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Everything posted by Mark Long

  1. Hi Melle I haven't had time or space for to continue with tissue culture unfortunately, so have deflasked the plants I had and got rid of the jars. I might have a photo somewhere but will have to look on my old laptop I think. They were basically just standard small jam jars with lids that I bought off ebay. I would make a few holes in the top with a nail and the cotton wool and wound-dressing pad taped down on top would keep microbes out. These were fine to sit loosely on top of the jars while sterilising (autoclave/pressure cooker). I've done the same with polypropylene take away tubs as well, sowing lots of darlingtonia seeds in them. To be honest I'm not sure how important having gas exchange for the culture vessel is for these as they're not exactly fast growing. I'm aware that it's of great importance for faster growing cultures though. There might be some Duchefa stockists around, Melford and Sigma in the UK used to sell their stuff I think. Something like Murashige and Skoog should be pretty standard wherever you manage to get it from though. Good luck with the culture!
  2. Hi Melle Saw this had gone unanswered so thought I would add a few things which might be useful. For the medium, I have used products from Duchefa. Their website has details of the composition of the media they sell, so if you compare these to the phygenera products it might help in your decision. I'm guessing the phygenera comes with culture vitamins and hormones included in the medium and Duchefa sell a similar MS product. Not sure about the jars, I just used small jars with the original lids, but with tape holding the lids closed (and ants out!), a few holes in top with a pad of non-absorbent cotton wool over them held down with wound dressing material and masking tape. I don't know the technicalities of the light I'm afraid, but I would say ideally have some from the beginning. Good luck!
  3. Hi Alcibiades I've tried growing Sarracenia in sphagnum in the past (just sphagnum and also with perlite) but wasn't happy with the results. The plants seem to bury themselves and sitting in a tray of water makes the moss at the bottom of pots rot. I do like using sphagnum for plants which I don't water by a tray, instead watering from above (Nepenthes) and also as a top dressing with a little in a peat/perlite mix for Darlingtonia, which sit in a tray but with daily (or when I remember!) overhead watering to flush some air through. Other people's experience may well be different from mine though. I have seen S. purpurea growing in clumps of sphagnum in Cumbria so it may well be possible to get good results. I suspect that having the right species of sphagnum (what I've bought online is I think from pine woodland rather than moorland), growing in shallow pots and keeping the water fresh could be important. Some of my Sarracenia are in the traditional peat/perlite 1:1 mix (regular peat and Moorland Gold) while most now are in Melcourt Growbark/perlite/Cornish Grit 1:1:1. Good luck with whatever you decide on, Mark
  4. Thanks David, my back up was to order some by courier. I contacted a couple of garden centres near me and Wheatley Farm Shop were very helpful and ordered some Growbark in for me, so I've picked them up this morning along with some garden plants. They don't normally stock it but said they can get more in if they're given some notice. -edit- Since then I have also picked up some Melcourt SylvaGrow from the Wantage Gardeners Association (membership £1 per year) at a good price. They didn't have any Growbark or the Melcourt Horticultural grit (the finer grade) that I've been using in the Sarracenia mix but offered to order some in if wanted.
  5. I'm looking for somewhere to buy a few bags of Growbark, preferably near Oxford, and was wondering if anyone knew anywhere that stocked it. BHGS in Evesham don't currently have any it seems and if possible I was hoping to avoid getting it by a courier. Cheers, Mark Ps. Even if it's miles from where I am, if you know of a current stockist and think others might be interested please feel free to post it here.
  6. They look great! Are you growing other Drosera this wet or is it something special for intermedia?
  7. I think there are pheromone traps available out there to kill the adults, not sure how specific they are to Tortrix. Bug Clear claims to be effective against caterpillars, never used it for this purpose though.
  8. Great looking plants!
  9. I've never seen them anywhere else in the wild before but from what I can gather the other sites in the UK where they are mainly found are on chalk grassland, so much drier. Here on Anglesey they are growing in lime-rich mire, which is a pretty uncommon habitat to have. Most of the plants were growing on islands in very swampy ground, so we had to step carefully through the mud and water to get close to them. You're right, very similar indeed! I have no idea how variable the flowers on O. insectifera are, apparently there is a form in the area where we were looking where the flower is entirely yellow but we didn't see any of these.
  10. Glad they were there! I would've been a bit embarrassed and sorry for sending you on a wild goose chase if they weren't! I really like seeing them growing like that, straight out of wet rock or in just a little bit of organic matter.
  11. A few of us joined local plant legend Nigel Brown for a trip around the Anglesey fens about a month ago. It was pelting it down with rain though, so I wasn't brave enough to get my camera out and just had my mobile phone to take a few photos. There were plenty of marsh orchids to be found, D. rotundifolia and P. vulgaris too, but it was the O. insectifera that stole the show! I went back to the site a few days later on a much brighter evening to take a few photos.
  12. There are P. vulgaris on The Great Orme visible from the road. I imagine there are lots of other spots for it, I know the Snowdonia and Anglesey areas better though. Never seen D. anglica in the wild but I 've heard there are some site in Ceredigion. Lots of rotundifolia round here though. Good luck with your search!
  13. Thanks for sharing Christian, those are some beautiful looking plants and I hadn't seen the origin post from Fernando either so thank you both for posting!
  14. Can't advise much but I can tell you what set up I currently use for Heliamphora. I've never used LED growlights before but would probably be wary of using LEDs that were not designed for plants as it was my understanding that LEDs tend to produce far sharper profiles of their wavelength output than other bulbs, so they may not be producing the wavelengths needed by your plants. Other people will know more about this than me and I'm sure there are lots of posts for DIY LED growlamps on this and other forums. What I use is a 125 W CFL growlight and reflector for a tank that is 90x45x60 (wxdxh). The lamp sits over one half of the tank, slightly elevated to allow for some air flow, to give a light section and a darker section. These lamps (so I've been told) do not respond well to high humidity, so I have put a polycarbonate sheet as a screen between the tank and the lamp and have added ventilation for the plants inside. Sorry I can't be of more help.
  15. Absolutely. Both water hyacinth and skunk cabbage appear to still be readily available but it says something in the RHS link about there being a 1 year transitory period when nurseries can clear their stock. I'm not sure if this really is part of an EU wide ban (or maybe I've got my wires crossed entirely) but it does strike me as a strange choice to be banned in the UK.
  16. Thought I'd add this as I only found this out myself yesterday and was quite surprised by it. Water hyacinth is now banned from sale in the EU and is listed as an invasive species. I've grown it before with Utricularia and the main problem I've had with it is keeping it alive over the winter! It does cause great problems in warmer parts of the world than North Wales though. I agree with Richard, it is a great plant for hoovering up nutrients and controlling algae. There are quite a few posts and blogs on the internet for growing Aldrovanda and aquatic Utricularia that recommend growing alongside other aquatic plants and marginals to improve water conditions and also the help create a mini-ecosystem, sedges appearing to be quite a popular choice. Text below taken from the RHS website. There are 14 plants on this list, most of which are of marginal importance to gardeners, or are already banned from sale in the UK (marked with † in the above list), but two widely grown species, Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth) and Lysichiton americanus (skunk cabbage) are included. Although there are transitionary measures allowing businesses to sell off their stock of these species within one year, to minimise potential for confusion, we have taken the step of not listing the species in the 2016 RHS Plant Finder. Those species affected are: Baccharis halimifolia (tree groundsel) Cabomba caroliniana (Carolina fanwort) Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth) Ludwigia peploides (water primrose) Lysichiton americanus (American skunk cabbage) Parthenium hysterophorus (Parthenium weed) Pueraria montana var. lobata (Kudzu) Gardeners who already have these species in their gardens are not at risk of prosecution for possession as the Regulation is not retrospective, but will be required to meet the other requirements of the Regulation to ensure that they control the species effectively on their property and do not allow it to spread.
  17. I'll be using some HA6 on the weekend as it happens. Is it the usual acetic acid smell that you're noticing? Have you tried spraying the silicone with some water to wash off any residual acetic acid? Acetic acid will linger for quite a while because it's not particularly volatile, so a quick wash might help but this is just a guess. No idea if the fumes are harmful to plants I'm afraid.
  18. Hi Yossu It actually looks fine to me! The pitchers don't last forever and it's normal for last year's crop of traps to start to dry out and die. The traps you showed with the dried out tops look normal to me, I tend to let them die completely before cutting the trap and tendril from the leaf. Nepenthes also tend not to produce traps under reduced light over the winter, though the rest of the plant may appear to be growing, albeit slowly. With the days getting longer you may well get some pitchers forming soon. I would probably avoid putting Nepenthes in your greenhouse unless you can provide some shading to stop them cooking during the day and some heat at night to keep your ventrata above 10-15 C. All in all I'd say it's nothing to worry about and keep doing what you're doing :) Hope this helps, Mark
  19. I would agree with Bux, I only have a little experience with CPs in tissue culture but it is usually easier with seed. I've had some mixed results with Nepenthes seeds too, I think they have usually come into contact with a lot of contaminants before I've received them so have been not that easy to sterilise. They best results I've had are for Darlingtonia seeds from our own plants as you can dip an unopened pod in ethanol and flame it to clean the outside and the seeds inside remain sterile. I have sterilised some of these with bleach as well but usually get no contamination and very high germination rates anyway. I haven't tried this approach with Sarracenia but if you have some seed pods it could be worth a go. The fastest growers I've had in culture are Drosophyllum, they filled the jars in months! Very easy seeds to sterilise too, what I found to be crucial though was after sterilising in bleach and washing with water to remove part of the seed case with a sterile blade. For VFT explants there is a lot of information on the flytrapcare forum. I think you can use the traps or the flower stalks but I'm not sure how important it is to collect samples at the right time of year. I've had experience with other plants where spring is the best time to collect samples as the new growth has a large amount of meristematic cells. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
  20. Hi there I've taken divisions this time of year before and they've been fine, so my guess would be that you'd be ok to substitute the medium to something else but it is just a guess. For your choice of medium, I've tried growing Sarracenia in sphagnum moss in the past but I wasn't all that happy with the results as they seemed to keep sinking in the moss and the larger plants were not stable in their pots. Since then I've stuck to peat/perlite 1:1, moorland gold/perlite 1:1 and am now starting to grow Sarracenia in Mike King's mix of Melcourt milled pine/perlite/cornish grit 1:1:1. I've never grown Sarracenia in coir but as you say I've heard mixed results. If the plant is looking healthy then the best thing might be to leave it in there and see how it does. Hope this helps!
  21. Just a guess, but N. villosa and N. burbidgeae are both quite hairy and found on Kinabalu. I certainly wouldn't be disappointed with a cross from one of those, but too soon to tell I suppose. Could still be straight N. lowii.
  22. I've got an N. lowii (from Borneo Exotics) producing upper pitchers and the night time temperatures never drop below 16 oC. Works fine for me and we usually get a decent temperature drop from daytime to night in the greenhouses which may help. N. lowii are pretty slow growing (took me 8 years from a small plant to see uppers!) but they produce beautiful traps all the way through their development, so well worth the wait.
  23. Some lovely plants there! You asked what the first two orchids were. I don't really know much about orchids but they look similar to species of Stanhopea that I've seen before. Cheers, Mark