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Dan

Kimberley Stylidiums

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Hi All,

OK, probably not carnivorous, but interesting anyhow. Here are some stylidiums we came across on a recent trip to the Kimberley in NW Western Australia. I've got no idea about stylidiums. Any suggestions as to their names would be most welcome.

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Very common species with a rosette of light green succulent broad leaves. Grows near waterfalls.

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Another broad-leafed species. Grows in swampy ground.

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Another broad-leafed species. Grows in open grassland.

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Small growing species with leaves similar to pine tree needles in a semi erect rosette. Grows on creek margins.

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Very small species with tiny leaves on caudate stem. Grows on moist creek margins.

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Small growing species with leaves similar to pine tree needles in a semi erect rosette. Grows on creek margins.

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Back of previous flower - note sticky glands alond stem.

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Intriguing large-growing species covered in sticky hairs (both flower stems and leaves). Similar leaves to byblis. Grows in moist ground along creeks. Cool black stylus!

Cheers,

Dan.

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Sorry Dan, but I have no idea about most Stylidium either, particularly those which come from up north.

The sticky glanded species are very interesting. I meant to ask you if you saw any of these sticky forms. I have heard rumours that some botanists believe that some of these species may in fact be carnivorous. Considering the remote area that you visited, it is possible that some of the species that you saw have never been seen before.

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Sounds like a great idea. Who wants to get bck up there and collect some samples for the research.

Dan, if you ever plan on heading back, there is a great reason for the government to let you back in the area.

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Interesting method used there (and nice pictures earlier!), though I wonder how they can rationalise their observations against the inherent enzymatic activity of the yeast applied to the leaves - yeast produce all manner of digestive enzymes, not just for sugar break down, but proteases too (protease B, being one). Still, a nice bit of empiricism for the home laboratory.

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Hi Dan,

very nice photos, thank you for sharing.

I’m also fascinated of Stylidium plants and I have a few in cultivation.

The second one looks similar to S. fimbriatum and the fifth could be S. uliginosum as it also has such tiny flowers. I have some photos on my website for comparison...

http://home.sdirekt-net.de/mwelge5/arten/S...dium_debile.htm

If you’re looking for more information just contact Douglas Darnowski, the famous author of the book about the genus. You also could have a look at www.triggerplants.org/ but the site is currently under construction.

Cheers,

Markus

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Hi Sean,

An intersting test, but with concerns as raised by Stairs (and i'm not a chemist nor biologist, so have no idea).

With regards to access, the spot these plants grow is in the Mitchell River National Park, so no access permits required. However, it would take about 3 days to walk to the site from the nearest vehicle access point (Mitchell Falls Campsite). There's always helicopters to hire at hideous expence, but only in the dry. Who knows though - they might grow all over the place in the wet season...

As a matter of interest, here is an image of the plant:

sticky_styl_sm.JPG

...and a close up showing a bit of debris stuck to the leaves:

sticky_styl_crop_sm.JPG

Cheers,

Dan.

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Very reminiscent of a Byblis. I wonder if anybody out there is performing any studies on these glandular species. From the image, it doesn't appear that there is any insects stuck to the leaves or stems. Do you remember seeing any? If this was a Byblis or Drosophyllum growing in a similar environment I would expect them to be covered in insects and their remains.

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I can't remember any insects stuck onto the plants. That being said, a Byblis only about 10 m away didn't have anything stuck to it's leaves either.

See images near to the bottom of:

http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11126

So I'd say that it was possibly more a function of it being the dry season and there not being very many insects around. We were very lucky to see these plants in a small seep - eswhere all the ephemerals were long dead.

Cheers,

Dan.

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Guest njh

If you want to look up those stylidiums you are probably better off looking them up on http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/, in particular, http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/search/qui...amp;x=0&y=0. As you can see, there are nearly 300 species :)

Doug's book is a great read, but he doesn't cover many species (how could he when many of the species are almost impossible to find, and are not interesting for cultivation).

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Hi njh,

Actually, we were photographing plants for incorporation into the florabase database. They may have a lot of Stylidiacae in the database, but very few have accompanying images. only 3-4 of the Kimberley ones have images.

http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/search/adv...t=&type=sum

While a couple of our Kimblerley ones are common, most are not, and a couple may be new to science.

With regards to Dougs book, the tropical Stylidium section (one page) aint all that helpful either. Juliet Wedge (WA CALM's stylidium expert) suggested a few publications for me to look up, but i've not had time as yet.

Cheers,

Dan.

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