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Everything posted by PofW_Feathers

  1. Is this Scrophulariaceae species practicing carnivory Allen Lowrie and I have been working on breeding a large selection plant species, many of which do not always relate directly to this CP forum but if you grow carnivorous plants the majority of these plants do make fantastic companion plants. This particular Scrophulariaceae species shows signs it maybe be practicing carnivory which will be of interest to Pinguicula and Drosera enthusiasts. This Scrophulariaceae species is a leafy, very floriferous, compact, branching, Mexican Pinguicula-like plant with its leaves densely covered with glassy Drosera-like glands that are capable of capturing small flying insects. Its solitary flowers are numerous and positioned just above the leaves. Its flower shape is Pinguicula macroceras-like but without the spur and upper petals of that species. Photo 01: A top class clone that Allen-san and I have bred. Photo 02: Same clone as photo 01. Photo 03 Photo 04 Photo 03 & photo 04: All parts of the plant foliage as well as the abaxial surface of the petals are covered with mucus tipped glands. Photo 05 Photo 06 Photo 07 Photo 08 Photo 05, photo 06, photo 07 & photo 08: This species can catch small insects on any glandular part of the plant. Principally the adaxial and abaxial surface of leaves, flower stalks and the abaxial surface of petals and tube. The viscosity of mucus is not as strong as that found in Drosera species or even that of Byblis guehoi to which it has been compared. The size of the prey this species captures is therefore rather small. We are not exactly sure just what purpose the glandular covering on this species is used for. Could its purpose be a means of gathering nutrients from captured prey; to defend against insect attack; or is it a self-watering adaptation used during the dry season, to collect water droplets from the moisture laden air during the early morning humid periods? Or is it a combination of any or all of these three adaptations? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIgHRCwyx5o Note how the motion of the flower stalks continually search for a place to position their seed capsules. The DNA code of this species seems to be designed to search for suitable locations where it can lodge its seeds into nearby cracks, ledges and fissures of a cliff face thus colonizing its vertical habitat. We have proved that selected clones of this species from our breeding trials are very suitable for pot cultivation. They make an ideal potted colour species for sales in the florist and nursery trades. The species may also be suitable for landscaping projects as well. Especially in regard to the decoration of large areas of brick, rock and block retaining walls. Landscape architects of the world may find this species the solution to adding living colour to the bare walls of their garden designs. This species preference for cliff face habitats make it a suitable candidate to be incorporated in their landscaping designs as spectacular vertical wall gardens. We can see a big future for this species in the hands of the world’s leading landscaping architects and designers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVhoGnNRKGI In the younger flowers it appears only the pistil with its bilobed stigmatic tip is mature and active. The anthers at this time are not active and are hidden within a two lobed protective housing. When the pollinator enters the flower: it triggers the pistil to rapidly swing upwards; gathering pollen grains on its stigmatic tips from the pollinator in the same motion; and finally positioning itself horizontally and well away from the pollinator. If the pistil fails to scoop-up pollen from the pollinator's body, the pistil will within 24 hours, reset itself and hang as before at the flower entrance ready for the next pollinator visit. Later as the flower matures, the anthers push their two lobed protective housing apart, pollen grains are release and gathered together in a clump. The pollen package is now visible and hangs between and just below the two door lobes. The pollen is now readily available for pollinator deposits and transportation. It appears a fully mature flower will not only accept pollen from a pollinator, but will also deposit its pollen on to the same pollinator as it exists the flower. Note the 2nd well matured flower in the video: This pistil action suggests that if a pollinator touches the pistil strongly, the stigmas may come into contact with its own pollen. It appears this species could self-pollinate, but its design has a preference for out-crossing. For a Japanese translation please go to: http://princeofwales...eaespecies.html
  2. Dear Greg-san, Well done!!! Kind regards from the Far East
  3. Dear Stu-san, Konnichiwa! Please go to http://www.omnisterra.com/botany/cp/pictures/sarracen/pics/isao93.jpg http://www.omnisterra.com/botany/cp/pictures/sarracen/pics/isao92.jpg Kind regards from the Far East
  4. Dear Martin-san, Konnichiwa! Please visit the ICPS forum again. Kind regards from the Far East
  5. Dear Martin Hingst-san, Konnichiwa! There are quite many cultivars (PVR: mainly L. formosa and L. biloba) in Japan. I have some pictures. In someday, when occasion comes, I will send some pictures to you. Kind regards from the Far East
  6. Dear Ice00-san, Konnichiwa! About Byblis guehoi and Byblis 'Goliath', They can produce seed by self-pollinating when their inbreeding degree are low (When the homogeneity of their genes is low). Of course the seed pods are smaller, the seeds are smaller and low quality. The generation established with the autogamy hardly produces seeds by the autogamy. Some species(undescribed) were perfectly self-sterile from the beginning. Many Byblis species(i.e. characterized by the flowers bearing anthers as long or longer than their supporting filaments) are allogamous plants. Allogamous doesn't mean an absolute self-sterile taxon. It simply means the degree of out breeding is high. Kind regards from the Far East
  7. Dear Fredders-san, Konnichiwa Beautiful photos!!! It looks like a chimera clone! Kind regards from the Far East
  8. Please see Cindy-san’s result: http://icps.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=byblis&action=display&thread=4953 and(not or) http://www.terraforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=127854 JohnnyBlaze-san’s result: http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=38180 and(not or) http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=38315 Kind regards from the Far East
  9. Dear Greg Allan-san, Konnichiwa! I do not have any document about isotope tests or enzyme. However I am still very interested in "Byblis glandular mucus: could it contain a sleeping drug come anesthetizing agent; nerve immobilizing agent and/or an insecticide?" In the past, I recognized that it was important for the prey to be in contact with the mucus. At this time, I think it might be a volatile material substance that is discharged by disturbance from the struggling prey. Byblis glandular mucus ICPS Byblis glandular mucus cpuk Kind regards from the Far East
  10. And, here are the photos that Paul-san attached Thick clouds even in the morning This invasive fern covers many of the nearby mountains Moss dripping with water condensing from the air Epiphytes (including orchids and ferns) compete Often, vines and trees prevent access Some areas are more accessible Alga or slime mould Pinguicula casabitoana on a branch Pinguicula casabitoana on a branch (more details) Pinguicula casabitoana higher up on a tree trunk Part of the large host tree
  11. Dear All, Konnichiwa! The following information(or reports) and photos were sent to me by Paul-san (Paul Temple), who has been a good friend of mine since I joined the cp-listserve in 1994. The photos are provided with Paul-san's goodwill. The copyright of the photos belongs to Mr. Paul Temple. Kind regards --- An Expedition to see Pinguicula Casabitoana in habitat, with related comments On June 23, 2011, I was priveledged to be able to revisit Mount Casabito in the Dominican Republic, primarily to try to see Pinguicula casabitoana. The peak of Casabito is protected as a National park, named the Reserva Científica Ébano Verde (the Green Ebony Scientific Reserve). This comprises 23.1 square kilometers (8.92 square miles) of terrain, about half of which is at sufficient altitude, reaching 1222 meters (4012 feet), to be cloud forest. The park is a treasure trove of endemic species but is largely famous for just a handfull of plant species of which perhaps two of the most important are Magnolia pallescens (Ebano Verde or Green Ebony) and Didymopanax tremulus (Palo de Viento or the Wind Tree). Though both are beautiful trees, the latter is especially attractive as its leaves never cease to shake, as if it were something out of a fairy tale! We entered the access road at about 10 a.m. Although the road was unaffected, the surrounding countryside was mostly shrouded in thick cloud, bathing the environment in 100% humidity. Cloud cover is normal here, with clouds regularly entering in the mid-afternoon and evaporating as the sun rises (between 6.00 and 7.00 a.m.). Occasionally there are clear nights and, just as occasionally, there are days when clouds can last 24 hours or more. Maintaining a National Park, especially one in a cloud forest, is not an easy task. First there is the problem of what to maintain. Should one leave plants to live and die naturally or should rare plants be protected from others that might displace them? Similarly, where should paths be cut? Then there are forest fires to prevent, the primary (historical) cause being illegal land clearance by locals wanting to engage in short-term (cut, burn, grow, abandon!) subsistence farming. Also on a large list of items to consider are invasive plants that constantly threaten to overwhelm the area. These and more require sensitive thought and intelligent actions, though all decisions are always open to potential criticism. In my opinion, Medio Ambiente (The Department of the Environment) do a good job and attempt to give minimal and controlled access (always a risk) to an area that remains largely pristine, in its natural state. However, as I will describe later, this has its risks! So, having entered, up we went to the peak. Normally it's a 1 hour steep uphill walk in hot humid air but this time - I drove! At the peak, we entered the path down. The entry path is misleading as it starts in an unnatural environment (a mountain peak with building, viewing platform and lots of cement!). But a few steps beyond and the world changes! There one enters a forest dripping with humidity. The trees are festooned with mosses. There are epiphytic bromeliads and orchids (including tiny Pleurothallids) as well as filmy ferns (that have leaves that may be just one cell thick) and what my accompanying botanical colleagues identified as algae (but I think they are slime moulds). Based on earlier walks here, I know that the path divides and that what was the primary site for Pinguicula casabitoana lies to the right. I've been there repeatedly, my last visit being in 1999, one year after Hurricane George. At that time, the primary habitat of P. casabitoana, a single tree, had been felled by the hurricane leaving me in some doubt as to the future of P. casabitoana at that site. A second site, again comprising a single tree, lies just a few minutes away from the first site but, again, I haven't visited there since 1999. At one point, we passed an old wooden sign that read "Pinguicula casabitoana". I'd seen this sign once before (it was the furthest down this path that I'd ever traveled). As I had done before, we searched but in vain. Our guide insisted that this was where we could find P. casabitoana but all he pointed to were small immature bromeliads (our guide was not a botanist!). At several more points, the guide hopefully pointed to yet more immature bromeliads. This time my aim was to visit the third and last site of P. casabitoana on Mount Casabito. So we stayed on the left-hand path. I despaired of finding plants as every tree was completely covered with moss, quite unlike my experience on all my previous adventures here. I was trailing behind with a group of three botanists. Ahead of me were three friends and my non-botanical girlfriend, Alex. Suddenly Alex called out. I'd trained her well. From my library of CP books she had learned to recognise Pinguicula and, sure enough she had indeed located P. casabitoana! But oh what a disappointment (albeit mixed with excitement). Here was yet another lone tree hosting not more than a handful of Pinguicula with no doubt some more higher up where we could not see them. Worse still and the main reason for my disappointment, the moss!!! Remembering back to site #1, I recall that the plants always grew on bare wood and that the wood was relatively smooth. I've seen P. lignicola in situ too, in Cuba. It's almost identical to P. casabitoana and it too grows on trees where there is no moss. Again from memory, P. lignicola also grows on smooth wood. So, in my opinion, this moss did not bode well for the future of P. casabitoana. Leaving aside the expedition, let me just chat about experience. I have indeed seen P. casabitoana growing on moss, though this admission is less contradictory that in it might at first appear! The guilty plant sat dead center of a single mound of moss that itself sat and covered the stump of a dead and rotting tree. The plant appeared healthy and was even flowering. Flowers are deceptive and can be a sign of a plant suffering stress (the flowers are a last effort at survival via seed!). However, I doubt this was a deception, the plant was happy. So why do I say plants do not grow on moss? Because of the roots. The roots of P. casabitoana (and the almost identical P. lignicola) are very specialised and have developed to be highly adapted to holding on to trees (that is, wood). The roots initially grow out from the plants normally. However, they soon wither and dry up to remain on the plants as tough, wire-like structures, as thin as hair and bearing specialised circular features that stick or hold onto the wood. These are by no means designed to burrow into earth or grab hold of moss. So, returning to the odd plant on top of the moss, what exactly was it doing? This was serendipity (meaning that the plant experienced "a lucky accident" or "found something that was unexpected"). All that had happened was that a plant had fallen off the host tree and, by sheer luck (serendipity) it had landed, below, on top of a clump of moss rather than on the completely inhospitable forest floor. As this moss was relatively low in the forest, the surrounding woodland, undergrowth and terrain prevented the wind from dislodging the Pinguicula which therefore continued to live and grow where it fell. The plant could live (temporarily) because it was on top of the moss and not buried in it. Time no doubt soon changed that! There are other examples of P. casabitoana growing in moss. Look at the photos. The most recent photo shows one plant, on a branch, with moss all around it. What's happening here? The moss is encroaching. What was bare wood hosting Pinguicula is now being taken over by the moss. I predict that in a few ears, maybe even within 1 year, the moss will cover the branch and successfully kill off the Pinguicula. Still from experience, there is another aspect worth mentioning. It is my belief that P. casabitoana does not like liquid water. Obviously it needs water and it gets plenty of that, in vapour form, from the humid atmosphere – the peak (and entire Eastern aspect) of Casabito is never dry! I think that the smooth wood on which P. casabitoana grows is an important feature in understanding the plant's needs and dislikes. Logically, at first thought it makes little sense to be an epiphyte that wants to grow on smooth wood as getting a foothold might prove a distinct challenge. However, remember those discs on the roots. They are shaped like suckers. They obviously do allow the plant to stick to smooth wood. At the same time, other plants are challenged to attach themselves. So P. casabitoana is a pioneer species that can colonise a difficult habitat while other plants will take much longer to gain a foothold. However, another aspect of smooth wood is that it does not remain wet. So even after lots of rain, the water rapidly runs off of the wood and any remaining water is quickly dried by the heat of the day or the wind. So P. casabitoana actually lives on a substrate thatis about as dry as any substrate ever gets. The roots are so adapted to an attachment function that they play no part in water absorption. I surmise that Pinguicula has become sensitive to water such that it suffers if wet for too long. This is not too surprising. Most Pinguicula (for example, many from Mexico) are not happy if kept permanently wet (in which case they often fail to flower and are slow to propagate naturally by division). Also, Pinguicula have been likened to succulents and certainly many succulents dislike to be wet for long periods. Thinking more about mosses, these probably present Pinguicula with two problems. First, as appears obvious, moss will eventually displace the Pinguicula as, once colonised, moss will easily outpace the reproductive capabilities of P. casabitoana. Second, many mosses will remain wet after being drenched by rain. This water is (I believe) anathema to P. casabitoana and so will weaken or kill the plants. Take one more look at the photos. Check out the Pinguicula that are on the tree's trunk (it was much higher up so more difficult to photograph). Even with the poor quality of the photo, it is clear to see that most of the Pinguicula are growing on bare wood and only one plant is growing beside a clump of moss, the moss is encroaching on the Pinguicula which would not otherwise choose to be close to moss and will not withstand the onslaught! In the fourth paragraph (above), I mentioned that Medio ambiente "maintain" the National Park in its natural state but that, as well as being logically correct and commendable, this has risks. I said I would return to this subject. One such risk is to P. casabitoana. To my mind, there is no valid argument to dissuade me from the belief that this species is under threat from encroaching moss. I have not mentioned previously that P. casabitoana is slow to propagate. This species produces very few seeds and the mother plant divides only slowly. Of those seeds that are produced, many must tumble to the forest floor where they will quickly die or be eaten. So here we have a species that is under threat from a natural competitor for its habitat. What most surprised me is that I could find almost no other similar trees (same species as the host) that P. casabitoana could colonise. This means that similar trees are, at best, distant and that in turn means that a dispersal mechanism is needed to move seeds from the parent to a new yet distant tree! There is no evidence to support any specific dispersal mechanism but the most obvious is wind; relatively large and heavy seeds (compared to other Pinguicula species) could easily be moved by the winds associated with tropical depressions or hurricanes. Yet overall, this means that reproduction is at risk of being outpaced by moss, putting the species in peril. So an important question is, should mankind intervene? In a National Park where the aim is to conserve what is natural, should we make an exception and remove encroaching moss from some trees so as to safeguard the continued existence of a rare species that is under threat? Should we also plant a few new trees so as to provide a future moss-free and smoothe-barked environment for P. casabitoana? I doubt there is a good answer that everyone would agree with but perhaps there is a least worst solution? Returning to the expedition, we found no more traces of Pinguicula. Indeed, this 3rd site is probably at the lower limit of acceptable habitats for P. casabitoana as the terrain rapidly changed and it was obvious that we soon left the dripping cloud forest for a drier environment, unsuited to P. casabitoana and many other cloud forest epiphytes. I will return to Casabito (now that I live in the Dominican Republic, Casabito is only 40 minutes away) and I hope it will be in significantly less time than the 12 years that passed since my last visit! P. casabitoana is not explicitly a protected species but all the habitats where I know it to grow (where I have seen it) are protected! So obtaining a specimen to experiment with is a challenge, to say the least. Please note that I do not own any specimens (living or dead), not even seeds. Because I know it will cross the minds of some, I can confirm that visits to see P. casabitoana are possible. All such visits will be accompanied by employees of Medio Ambiente who will stick-like-glue to the visitors to prevent plant theft, especially of P. casabitoana. The mountain road across Casabito has very recently (2010) been upgraded to a very high standard. This means that it is possible to leave Santo Domingo (the Capital) very early in the morning (5.30 a.m.) and have time for breakfast and to see the plants as well as still having time to return to Santo Domingo the same day. (I do not recommend afternoon visits – very heavy rain is more likely in the afternoon.) A full walk starting and finishing at the same place will take most of a day. Trips to just P. casabitoana (starting from Casabito) can take about 2 hours. If anyone has an opportunity to do this and wants my help, I need a few days notice to get the necessary permission, less if all you want is advice. Finally, I would like to express my thanks to Ramon Emilio, of Medio Ambiente, for his help and permission, which enabled the visit to see P. casabitoana to be possible. My thanks are also due to Isao-san (Isao Takai, who many will know through his association with various carnivorous plant societies, journals and web or internet services), who is a long time friend and who helped publish this article. Paul Temple© 04 July 2011
  12. Dear all, Konnichiwa! A paper suggesting Stylidiaceae maybe practicing carnivory has just been published in the International Trigger Plant Society (ITPS) journal No. 2. The ITPS journal No. 2 is available as a free pdf download from www.triggerplants.org There is a lot of other articles as well as photos of many species. The attached photos of Stylidium carlquistii are yet other example of insect prey caught on the scape of a triggerplant. Kind regards from the Far East Stylidium carlquistii Stylidium carlquistii
  13. Dear Sean Spence-san, Konnichiwa! Unfortunately, triggerplant015 is an undescribed species. Kind regards from the Far East
  14. Dear Alexis-san, Konnichiwa! I stand corrected. Kind regards from the Far East
  15. Dear Jimscott-san, Konnichiwa! Stylidium bulbiferum Kind regards from the Far East
  16. Dear Greg-san, Konnichiwa! Beautiful beautiful! Could you please post some photos of the pedicels of Byblis sp. Pilbara compared with its leaves. It would be useful for understanding this species for all members. Kind regards from the Far East