Main Menu

Show posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Show posts Menu

Messages - Bern

Success!!! Here is a photo of my Carlina acaulis seedlings. The cold stratification apparently was the key to success. I planted about 10 seeds and 6 germinated. After a particularly cold and rainy night, 3 perished and 3 survived. When these guys get a bit bigger, I will repot them into larger and deeper containers. I'll then get to see if they will grow in the heat and humidity here in the summer.  I will protect them from torrential summer rain by moving them under the patio. The good thing is that I learned how to get them to germinate and it only took 2 seasons. 

Quote from: David Pilling on March 20, 2024, 04:52:13 AMTip, the link above takes you to a folder. If you just download it, Google will mess about zipping it and you'll end up with 1.2GB of duplicated material. Instead double click the folder and seek out the 200MB combined chapters PDF file:

Thanks David.  Good to know.  I went about it with the zipped file. It took a bit of effort.  But, I was successful.  But anyone else can do it a bit easier with the method you describe.

I also edited my comments about this eBook.  Derrick made his eBook available to anyone who is interested in it; it is not solely for Myrmecophyte Forum members.  It is an impressive work and worthy of appreciation and gratitude.
Epiphytic Myrmecophytes: Bizarre Wonder of Nature 2022, by Derrick John Rowe

The late Derrick John Rowe from New Zealand published an extensive eBook on epiphytic myrmecophytes and other non-epiphytic plant genera with close ant associated ecology. This book is a treasure of scientific and natural history of the known ant plants.  It contains extensive color photographs and is documented to the hilt with technical references.  It was written in Microsoft Word and totals almost 1100 pages on my computer.

Derrick made this eBook available for free on the Forum for Epiphytic Myrmecophytes.  Derrick's eBook is available to anyone who is interested in it, not just Forum members.  Since I do not enjoy reading books on my computer, I purchased an inexpensive 10 inch Hyundai HyTab Tablet on eBay, installed a free Word App for Android from Microsoft, and downloaded the eBook to the tablet. I can now enjoy reading this eBook in the evenings without having to sit at my computer.

The latest working link from the Myrmecophyte Forum for this book is below.  It is on Google Drive.  I checked it out today and I was able to download the zipped file without problems.

This is an outstanding, free publication available for anyone who is interested in this subject.  Derrick's work is the culmination of a lifetime of study about these plants.  Enjoy!

Quote from: David Pilling on March 15, 2024, 04:57:41 AMI'd be worried that ants might take up living in then - maybe has to be a specific type of ant.

I repotted one of my larger Myrmecodia beccarii yesterday and I noticed a few ants on the caudex later in the evening. Occasionally, I will see ants on my plant shelves, but I could never find where they were nesting, and the ant plants didn't seem to be the source.  Anyway, when I have ants on my plant shelves I use a few drops of Terro ant bait on a small piece of plastic or aluminum foil. Amazingly, the ants pour out of wherever they are hiding to feed on the solution, which contains sugar and borax; the borax is fatal to them. Within about 2 days, the ants are gone until they mysteriously reappear months later, and then the Terro get reapplied.  I now have some Terro drops on plastic sitting on top of the potting mix of my larger ant plants to see what happens.

But, not to worry, any decent systemic insecticide drench with imidacloprid should easily take care of an ant infestation in your myrmecophytes.

I'm a member of the Forum for Epiphytic Myrmecophytes, and although this Forum is not active anymore, there is a wealth of information about these plants on the site. 

Here's a link to a post about the "Mossman" form of Myrmecodia platytyrea that shows some larger plants in cultivation.

And here's a link showing what another species of Myrmecodia looks like growing in habitat.

And here's the link to the Forum's homepage.

Here's a pair of seedling ant plants I recently acquired. They are the "Mossman" form of Myrmecodia platytyrea native to Queensland, Australia.  I'll be repotting them shortly in individual pots in Orchiata orchid bark. These plants develop an impressive caudex if well grown.

Myrmecodia platytyrea Seedlings.jpg
In den nächsten Nächten wird es hier bitterkalt sein. Dann wird es nächste Woche wie im Frühling sein!

Quote from: janemcgary on January 13, 2024, 05:07:25 PMThe map Bern shared is a good graphic for understanding the role of high mountain ranges and maritime wind effects on North America.

The Appalachians will block many cold air masses from moving east, but not this one.  Fortunately, the effects of this system will be mild here compared to locations on similar or lower latitudes in the central part of the country.  Rogers, AR, which is even further south than Williamsburg, will experience temps from 0 F to the low single digits for the next few days.  We won't get anything near as cold here.

Interestingly enough, the latest USDA zone map promoted this area from 7b to 8a.  Many other locations across the US received similar promotions.  Will these designations stand if this winter continues to have such cold temps?  Time will tell......
Heating Your Greenhouse in the USA This Week

A massive system of extremely cold air will affect most the country this week. The extent of this system, as well as the frigid temperatures is something to behold.  Many new record low temperatures will probably occur over the next several days. It will be interesting to see if the electric and natural gas utilities in some areas will be able to keep up with the demand. Some plant people will be sorely vexed by this weather from coast to coast and from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico.  South Florida looks like the only reliably warm spot this week.

Here's the National Weather Service map of the low temps on Tuesday night when the cold mass is at its greatest extent.

Quote from: Rick R. on January 05, 2024, 05:32:08 PMI have germinated C. acaulis twice. 

I have ordered some new seeds from a supplier in Canada. This vendor suggests giving these seeds a 60 day cold stratification period.  Here are their recommendations.

" Stratification improves germination, though germination can be attempted without it. If no growth within 8 weeks, place the pot in a cold area for 60 days, and then return them to room temperature for germination within 8 weeks after being brought to warmth."

Congratulations on getting your seeds to germinate.  This is a very interesting and unusual plant.  It's worth the effort to try to grow it.

Quote from: Carlos on December 22, 2023, 05:41:43 AMps: I might (just "might") get seeds or small bulbs of Ismene amancaes next year...

Quote from: Emil on January 03, 2024, 04:34:06 PMWow I didn't know about this plant... but it would be fantastic for my coastal CA garden if I can find some seeds to grow.... hint hint!

Carlos is going to have many new friends if he manages to obtain seeds or bulbs of Ismene amanceas! :)
New Year's Eve Party at the Brandenburg Gate

Great photo of an iconic location.

Let's hope for a good year in 2024.

Happy New Year to All! 
Quote from: janemcgary on December 29, 2023, 01:50:47 PMRe. Carlina acaulis, I grew it from a Halda collection, and the most interesting thing about it is that the dry inflorescence closes during damp weather and opens back up on sunny days, even when removed from the plant! Must be an adaptation to seed dispersal.

Because of this "behavior" the plant is nicknamed the "weather thistle."

Did you grow in in pots, either outside or in your greenhouse?  Or, did you grow it in your rock garden?  Do remember what season you sowed your seeds and how long it took for them to germinate?

Quote from: Bern on December 28, 2023, 11:16:41 AM
QuoteApogee Full-Spectrum Quantum Sensor

A steal at $532.00

Probably the best available at the price. 

Phantom (Hydrofarm) sells their PAR meter as the PHOTOBIO Advanced Quantum PAR Meter.  However, I suspect, but cannot prove, that this unit is lux meter that converts lux to PAR. And the reason is that the sensor on the unit looks just like the sensor on my lux meter.  It looks nothing like the Apogee sensor.  However, at $150.00, it may be good enough for what I want or need to do.

The Apogee meter has a few additional items that I'd just have to have - a telescopic sensor wand, a communication cable for a computer hookup, and a nice carrying case that would add an additional $180.00. 

But, I'm sure that the Apogee sensor is a true quantum PAR sensor.  The Phantom, Photobio, Hydrofarm, or whatever name they are calling themselves now, may not have a true PAR sensor.  More research will be required.

But, Hydrofarm is a reputable company with a long history and their LED lighting products are very widely used.

What do you think? Is the PHOTOBIO sensor a true PAR sensor?
Quote from: David Pilling on December 28, 2023, 04:24:31 PMI'll give you that the Sun contains a mole of Krugerrands - now how do we get hold of them.

We will have to use the Dan Quayle method.  The joke going around NASA when Vice President Quayle was the Chairman of the National Space Council was that he wanted NASA to have a mission that would outdo the Apollo program. So he decided that NASA would commence planning for a manned mission to the Sun. When asked how this would be possible given the extreme temperatures there, Dan replied - "I've already figured that out, we're going to go at night."

So, how about gold mining on the sun at night?  Dan would be happy. ;)