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christerb

N. bokor - seedling variation

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Hi,

As you have probably noticed - if you have looked at the François photos from the wild - there are some variation among the plants at this location. Being fascinated by this species, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on this beautiful species when they were offered earlier this year.

I received three specimens at the time, and noticed slight variations among them. Although they are still far from adulthood the differences have become clearer. Two of them look virtually identical having rather tubby pitchers at this stage. The third differ by having narrow and redder pitchers, the top of the leaf being convex, and also by having smoother leaf surface. Since the specimens have not had the same growing conditions comparing the growth rate is not fair. Still, so far the reddish plant has been a lot slower, and is now the smallest of the lot. It will be interesting to see if the differences remains as they grow larger.

sep08bokor.jpg

The latest pitcher on my biggest plant.

aug08bokor1.jpg

This plant was the smallest, but has grown basically as quick as the biggest plant, they also look similar. As can be seen I have this one in live sphagnum (actually the packing material that the plants came with). The biggest specimen grows in the same soil as the plant below, so that - at least - doesn't explain the differences in growth rate.

sep08bokor2.jpg

The "red pitcher" plant.

sep08bokor3.jpg

A closer look at the pitcher.

Regards,

Christer

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Hi Christer,

really interesting observation. :smile:

A few minutes ago i checked my plants, i´m also growing a few of them.

The only difference i have noticed till now is that 2 plants seem to have more narrow leafes than the other 2 (they are looking very different) and they are a little bit more thick, but the pitchers a very similar till now.

But i must say that the plants with the narrower leafes are growing under intermediate conditions and the other 2 under lowland conditions, perhaps this is the reason for the different leafes. I wanted to chesk what conditions are better. :thanks:

Let us see what François will say about your observation.

Best regards,

Dani

Edited by Daniel O.

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Very interesting to see the differences between the plants you have Christer, the redder one really looks quite different :thanks: I wish I had bought one now!

Heather

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Hello dear friends,

I have noticed some variations on my biggest seedlings too. I will post some pictures later. Some lower pitchers are quite tubby as those shown by Christer (great plants by the way!) and others are more pyriform.

I have collected seeds from different specimens and have mixed all the seeds so all the N. bokor growers should have a wide range of phenotypical variations to show in the following years.

Still, all my seedlings show stable morphological features: round, apple-shaped (almost vaulted) lid, short hairs on the leaves margin, ... some pitchers begins to develope nice red stripes on the peristome.

I have found, in the wild, 2 or three specimens with beautiful yellow lower pitchers (no seeds from those ones, unfortunately):

s6001689pa8.jpg

s6001689pa8.ac12eed694.jpg

The colouration reminds me a bit the recently described N. mantalingahanensis.

Friendly,

François.

Edited by Sockhom

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Hi,

and thanks for the comments. Yes, the "red pitcher" plant looks rather nice at this stage. One of the in-situ photos that has especially stuck in my mind, is the trio of mature lower pitcher that have stunning red colors. Hopefully this plant will grow up and have pitchers looking similar to them.

Although the pitchers on the other two specimens doesn't show much color right now, they have started to get the strong red coloration on the underside of the pitcher lid.

sep08bokor4.jpg

Regards,

Christer

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Nice post

Gunna be real nice when mature,a lot of variation in the seedlings ;-)

Bye for now Julian

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Hello :yes: .

Christer, I really like the sharpness of your pictures.

Well, I keep some N. bokor seedlings for my own collection and I have to say that I'm delighted to note that they show some significant variations.

Here are the two extremes of the "phenotype" I have:

1/ Tubby pitchers, short wings, similar to one of the plants shown by Christer:

s6000001ic2.jpg

w600.png

s6000009hg1.jpg

w600.png

2/ The second plant develops almost pyriform pitchers, larger lid and wings. The difference with the previous specimen is striking. Note also that the two specimens receive the same amount of light and are grown in the same soil.

s6000005kt2.jpg

w600.png

s6000008xa0.jpg

w600.png

I also have an intermediate of those two "forms".

François.

Edited by Sockhom

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Hi François,

Very nice pitchers you have there! That last one looks particularly interesting, both the shape and the large floppy lid. BTW, how big are the pitchers in the photos? It is difficult to estimate size from a photo, but the last one seem to have reached a decent size.

Regards,

Christer

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Great pics François showing the variations, really love the colour of the one in the 2nd pic in particular :yes:

Really looking forward to receiving mine!!

Heather

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Hi François,

nice differences.

Both "types" are looking good. :yes:

When my pitchers are a little bit bigger i will also take some pictures from them to see how they differ from each other.

Best rergards,

Dani

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Hi,

Just for fun I decided to place the three plants side by side for pitcher comparison.

sep08bokor5.jpg

The two smallest plants had about the same sized pitchers (just over 4 cm), and I found an older pitcher of similar size on the biggest plant (on the right in this photo). Although I stated earlier that the two plants with the tubbier pitchers looks almost identical, seeing them side by side they differ more than I had anticipated. It will be interesting to see if the pitchers on the smaller plant will become fatter with time too.

sep08bokor6.jpg

The latest pitcher on my biggest plant, only 5 cm, have just opened for business.

sep08bokor7.jpg

Also, while watering the biggest plant I got some drops of water on the leaves. Although I have seen before that the upper surface of the leaves have hairs, they were easier to distinguish with the aid of the water drop. While preparing the photos I also noticed some tiny reddish-brown glands there as well.

Regards,

Christer

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The best way to understand these plants is to grow them from seed. Then you can appreciate the variability that some species seem to have, including the possibility of a few "sports" (which seem to pop up now and then) and begin to appreciate the variability that can occur in isolated populations which may drift one way or another over the years.

I recall the many seedlings that I raised from the Turbull-Middleton expeditions, and was amazed to see such variability in N. fusca (among many other species) with some plants producing all green pitchers, some rather dark red, small and wide peristomes, green red, and striped. When I asked John Turnbull if he noticed any such variability in the plants themselves in the wild, he said they all seemed rather uniform; curious, indeed.

- Rich

Edited by rsivertsen

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Hi Rich:

Looking at this thread again, makes me wonder about the possibility of hybrids mixed with the species. I remembering mentioning this to Francois sometime ago, but with all my due respects, he categorically ruled out the possibility of having hybrids mixed with N. bokor when he mentioned that his plantlets were growing really fast.

Now changing topics, if i may:

There seems to be a double standard when it comes to analysing pitcher shape, colour, tendrils with regards to identififying Nepenthes. Some of us, very adamantly look for every single difference to make sure we are looking at a species, while others allow more differences in their description such as the ones above and still believe these plants belong to the same species. The never ending battle between lumpers and splitters is here again.

Gus

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I can't make any useful comments relating to this species, but.

I suspect that much of the problem over how much variation people will accept comes from the decades of having plants propagated & distributed from cuttings and now TC, from only a few (some times just one clone).

When 100+ plants are all from the same clone, then yes they will look the same. But 100 seedlings from different plants will naturally have some variation. But when people aren't used to seeing variation, then they become suspicious.

But then the very concept of 'species' is to a certain degree an artificial concept to please us humans that like to 'put things into boxes'. Nature is only concerned with passing on genes and when a 'species' naturally hybridises so readily, then does the species concept really apply ??

I think most, if not all of us, put too much emphasis on a name, rather than 'do we like it or not'.

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I can't make any useful comments relating to this species, but.

I suspect that much of the problem over how much variation people will accept comes from the decades of having plants propagated & distributed from cuttings and now TC, from only a few (some times just one clone).

When 100+ plants are all from the same clone, then yes they will look the same. But 100 seedlings from different plants will naturally have some variation. But when people aren't used to seeing variation, then they become suspicious.

But then the very concept of 'species' is to a certain degree an artificial concept to please us humans that like to 'put things into boxes'. Nature is only concerned with passing on genes and when a 'species' naturally hybridises so readily, then does the species concept really apply ??

I think most, if not all of us, put too much emphasis on a name, rather than 'do we like it or not'.

I agree, i think every small variation, especially in the indochinese neps is starting to be labelled as a new species, when they may be just a different clone of a widespread species. I do think however that getting a correct id with location data is important for conservation.

Its amazing how much variation there is between clones of a single species, even down to the growing conditions that each prefers. e.g. I have two clones of gracilis, that dont superficially look like the same species and dont like the same conditions, but they are both gracilis. Nepenthes just seems to be one genus that has huge natural variation.

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Will post a piccie of mine when i get the chance, mine is more towards the ( 1/ Tubby pitchers, short wings, similar to one of the plants shown by Christer: ) example shown by francois, its more orangy with red veins though. Also its leaves are blood red while forming then turn green once fully developed which i find interesting...

Edited by Muel

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Interesting topic, My older specimen of Bokor has outstripped my others and is similar to François' second example. The others have yet to catch up. I am more "locally" interested at the moment in the smilesii and bokor seedlings and relative comparisons. My biggest worry at the moment is winter and my inevitable loss of 'struggling' plants!...Roll on summer?

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Hello!

Fist of all, let me tell that I am a very open minded person and you guys can criticize as much as you want. I have really no problem with that. Don't worry.

Gus, There indeed was no other species on the location but I can't swear that there was no other Nepenthes species a few miles from the spots I checked.

I saw many variations in the N. bokor plants I observed (more than 250 plants) and all the taxonomic features were the same:

- apple-shaped lid;

- indumentum (very very short hairs on the leaf margin):

- striped peristom (almost on all pitchers);

- leaf attachement (decurrent, clasping to the base);

- hard leaf, almost succulent,

- a raceme with quite often double pedicels...

Etc.

I am convinced that Nepenthes are variable and I do not agree with people who tend to create or to suspect a new species each time a new plant strays away from the descrition they have in mind.

I am convinced that Nepenthes smilesii (ie anamensis), bokor and kampotiana are good species. I'm totally sure about that (because of the many hours I've spent at Paris herbarium).

I don't really know what to think about the other undescribed taxa. I trust my friend Marcello. He and Martin Cheek are working on undescribed taxa and we'll have to wait before we can express any "judgement".

One thing, I would like to add:

ALL the indochinese I grow (smilesii from various locations, bokor, kampotiana and two undescribed taxa) are growing incredibly fast! Suspicious people will suspect hybrid vigour. I 'm convinced this have something to due with the root system those species develop because of the dry season this part of the world is exposed too.

François.

Edited by Sockhom

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I can't make any useful comments relating to this species, but.

I suspect that much of the problem over how much variation people will accept comes from the decades of having plants propagated & distributed from cuttings and now TC, from only a few (some times just one clone).

When 100+ plants are all from the same clone, then yes they will look the same. But 100 seedlings from different plants will naturally have some variation. But when people aren't used to seeing variation, then they become suspicious.

But then the very concept of 'species' is to a certain degree an artificial concept to please us humans that like to 'put things into boxes'. Nature is only concerned with passing on genes and when a 'species' naturally hybridises so readily, then does the species concept really apply ??

I think most, if not all of us, put too much emphasis on a name, rather than 'do we like it or not'.

The actual definition of a species is a group of individuals that are able to reproduce with each other and produce FERTILE offspring.

Edited by mantrid

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The actual definition of a species is a group of individuals that are able to reproduce with each other and produce FERTILE offspring.

In that case there is only one species of Nep, and one species of Sarra.

In fact, that would mean we've just had a mass extinction and lost hundreds if not thousands of 'species' of plants and amimals, as many are able to cross breed and produce fertile offspring.

Like I said, the very idea of 'species' is artifical and made up by man. Fortunately nature has never read or cared about the very strict concept.

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ALL the indochinese I grow (smilesii from various locations, bokor, kampotiana and two undescribed taxa) are growing incredibly fast! Suspicious people will suspect hybrid vigour. I 'm convinced this have something to due with the root system those species develop because of the dry season this part of the world is exposed too.

François.

Francois, i dont think anybody is critisizing, merely making an observation. I agree with you that they all grow fast, also they all remind me of Mirabilis in a lot of ways e.g. speed of growth, root structure, leaves, growth habits (they all enjoy wet roots which would kill many other neps) and they all dry up very rapidly if the roots get dry - thin leaves. Of course they could all be recently evolved from mirabilis, or just extreme varieties of mirabilis. If i remember correctly there have been numerous species in the past which were recombined with mirabilis later. The question at what point is a species a species is a valid one.

Im not saying that i think Bokor is a form of mirabilis, but i do think there are a lot of intergrade hybrids in thailand. At the end of the day, many of the thai neps are very nice, easy and fast growing and whether they are a species or not is kind of irrelevant as they are all in the wild gene pool.

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Francois, i dont think anybody is critisizing, merely making an observation. I agree with you that they all grow fast, also they all remind me of Mirabilis in a lot of ways e.g. speed of growth, root structure, leaves, growth habits (they all enjoy wet roots which would kill many other neps) and they all dry up very rapidly if the roots get dry - thin leaves. Of course they could all be recently evolved from mirabilis, or just extreme varieties of mirabilis. If i remember correctly there have been numerous species in the past which were recombined with mirabilis later. The question at what point is a species a species is a valid one.

Im not saying that i think Bokor is a form of mirabilis, but i do think there are a lot of intergrade hybrids in thailand. At the end of the day, many of the thai neps are very nice, easy and fast growing and whether they are a species or not is kind of irrelevant as they are all in the wild gene pool.

Hi Mark,

I don't feel "criticized". It's not the accurate word (sorry, english is not my mother language). I just try, in my humble way, to help increasing the knowledge. I don't care for egos. I just wanted to say you could all make "observations" as much as you want.

Anyway, I can't see how you can think that N. bokor might be an extreme form of N. mirabilis. Just look at the lower pitchers of both species for example or the leaves: They're completely different!

Another point I will have to correct: N. bokor and other indochinese species can grow in a bone dry soil. They even enter a kind of dormancy in the wild (and N. bokor is sympatric with ... Drosera peltata!). They have a root system N. mirabilis doesn't have.

All the species which have been combined with mirabilis at one point (or separated later like rowanae and tenax) have a similar foliage structure which is absolutely not the case with N. bokor. This species have decurrent, clasping to the stem, almost succulent leaves whereas mirablis' have thin papery and petiolate leaves - this is a difference among others.

My amateur idea is that all the red pitcher indochinese species (bokor, kampotiana) are to be placed, taxonomically speaking, somewhere between the widespread mirabilis and the malaysian N. sanguinea.

N. bokor 's flower, moreover, regularly develops double pedicels which is a consistant feature of N. sanguinea.

Please have a look at all the taxonomic features here:

http://www.lhnn.proboards107.com/index.cgi...amp;thread=1094

Cheers,

François.

Edited by Sockhom

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Francois,

Heres what I said

Im not saying that i think Bokor is a form of mirabilis, but i do think there are a lot of intergrade hybrids in thailand. At the end of the day, many of the thai neps are very nice, easy and fast growing and whether they are a species or not is kind of irrelevant as they are all in the wild gene pool.

I wasnt talking specifically about N Bokor...

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In that case there is only one species of Nep, and one species of Sarra.

In fact, that would mean we've just had a mass extinction and lost hundreds if not thousands of 'species' of plants and amimals, as many are able to cross breed and produce fertile offspring.

Like I said, the very idea of 'species' is artifical and made up by man. Fortunately nature has never read or cared about the very strict concept.

perhaps they are sub species

Interesting link on species below. Bit wordy though.

http://members.aol.com/darwinpage/mayrspecies.htm

Edited by mantrid

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