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  1. Last week
  2. Bonjour have you picture to their clypeoli and alveoli ? jeff
  3. Earlier
  4. The March 30, 2017 article revising the genus Squamellaria by Guillaume Chomicki moved Hydnophytum kajewskii and H. guppyanum into the genus Squamellaria. All the threads for Hydnophytum kajewskii and guppyanum that used to be here in the Hydnophytum section of the forum have therefore been moved into the Squamellaria section.
  5. Mealybugs and scale

    If it's helpful, this is a lab in Massachusetts, in the United States. Insecticidal soap has been effective against mealybugs in the short term, but I'm not sure it will have many long term effects and it doesn't work against scale.
  6. Cost-benefit analysis of myrmecophily

    Bonjour Ashley (1971); Rickson(1979) ; Jansen (1974) and Huxley (1978) have worked on this subject , and found similarites with carnivorous plants. jeff
  7. Cost-benefit analysis of myrmecophily

    I'm curious if this sort of analysis has been done on ant plants, as it has for carnivorous plants. Similarly, though it has been shown in myrmecophylic orchids that plants can receive a nitrogen benefit from ant inhabitants, has this benefit been quantified in terms of what fraction of the plant's nitrogen is from ants?
  8. I'm not really sure where to post this, so I apologize in advance if it needs to be moved. I'm working with probably 100 specimens, give or take, of Vachellia drepanolobium, and they have been developing quite poorly, for the most part: only a few, small domatia and slow growth overall. Part of this is almost certainly that they're mostly unfertilized--I'm sure ants are a huge source of nitrogen, and the two that were fertilized did and are doing much better (they flowered once, and have many more, larger domatia). However, they're also quite susceptible to mealybugs, which seem to go within days from being invisible to covering half the plant. I go up and spray the plants down two or three times a week (I'm only working there part time), and I was wondering if there is a better solution. The person who actually needs the plants for research has suggested that one day we should go up and, together, cover them all with neemoil, but I suspect one application will have little effect. We can't use synthetic pesticides, because these plants will (hopefully) eventually have ant colonies on them which could be killed by the residue, and we can't use biological control because it might interfere with the ant experiments down the road. Spraying down with water seems to only have a very temporary effect. Should I suggest that we repeatedly apply neemoil, and if so how long would it need to be applied for? If not, what are some other solutions you have used that have worked in the past? It seems that ant plants spend so much energy on their domatia and various sources of food for the ants (extrafloral nectaries in this case) that they have little left over to spend on distasteful chemicals to deter insects (though having said that, some of the other acacia in the greenhouse, that aren't naturally any associated, have been very hard-but by both scale and mealybugs).
  9. Looking great, Robert! I'm looking forward to spring on behalf of all our plants!
  10. My little système

    Perfectly accurate! The first seeds of hydno radicans launched was placed in bad light conditions, now there are 2x 24w led 6500k to help
  11. My little système

    Everything looks fine. You may want to increase the light intensity on your seedlings since they are etiolating. Ciao, J
  12. Bonjour I am taker for 2-3 drupe see the PM JEFF
  13. Hi Jeff- If someone in EU doesn't answer - I have plenty. Postage from the US. :}
  14. Bonjour The two mine, adult and that have fruited abundantly, I lost them unfortunately. They began to lose all their foliage, then were invaded by a kind of moss that made them die. Also, I made a fatal mistake, I distributed seeds everywhere and I did not worry about me, if I could sometimes find one or two Drupe, it would be enchanting. jeff
  15. My little système

    I need your view
  16. Its mid-winter here in SE Queensland and my ant plants have really slowed down, but several species are still producing fruit. Here is a photo of another of my young H.ferrugineum that has just ripened its first fruit. It has a caudex dia.of 65mm (2.5") and was re-potted from a 50mm (2") tube to a 100mm (4") pot 18 months ago.
  17. Well done, Robert. Wouldn't worry about the repot. These things fruit promiscuously when older, as you can see. I don't think I've ever lost one in cultivation and it must be one of the spp. I have most of. Jay
  18. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the forum members who shared their experiences of growing this species both good and bad, as it was this information that ultimately led to my success in growing and fruiting this lovely species. This is the best thing about this forum, the sharing of knowledge of which there is a wealth of amongst its members. Below is a picture of the entire plant which is in desperate need of re-potting, this will be done after a few fruit have been harvested and have started to germinate, I do not want to take the risk of the plant possibly dropping immature fruit as it is the only plant I have, and only one of five in the country.
  19. Fruit at last, 27 months after planting my first ever H.puffii seed the plant has matured its first fruit. It has just over a dozen fruit on it and the first one has ripened in the first month of our winter here in the southern hemisphere, so Frank the plant seems to be following the same fruiting cycle as plants in the Northern hemisphere.
  20. Beginners corner

    Hi David, Spider mites can be irritating! Seems like sometimes they just explode onto the scene. After a while you learn to anticipate them, like when humidity drops with the seasons. If your collection is small enough spraying the entirety of every plant with water from a spray bottle on a daily or almost daily basis can be useful. With a larger collection in a confined area biological control with predatory mites can be very effective. This worked very well for me a number of years ago when I was growing on two 4-shelf light carts in a 9 foot square foot plastic tent in my basement. The tent had a humidifier in it for humidity but I still had a big spider mite problem. I bought 10 packets of predatory mites sold at that time as Thripex by Koppert Biologicals. They are for thrips but also eat spider mites. I laid one packet on each shelf and went several years without any serious spider mite problems. I take it Koppert now has other products that are better for spider mites because they no longer are recommending Thripex for spider mites as they did back then. It also looks to me like they reformulated the Thripex product. Koppert may no longer sell direct but they have a number of distributors. Here is a link to lots of suppliers of biologicals in North America. http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pestmgt/ipminov/bensup.pdf Sorry for the NorthAmericancentric reply here, but it is where I live and what I know about. Plenty of room here oh "members of the ant-plant nation", so please tell us how you control spider mites where you live.
  21. Beginners corner

    What is the best product to control spider mites on Myrmecodia and Hydnophytum? I am using Seven spray but they continue to appear.
  22. Squamellaria imberbis in cultivation

    Really incredible. Thank you for sharing.
  23. Squamellaria guppyana flowering in cultivation

    Hi again, Frank. No, that is just a senescent calyx of a precocious flower. They can hang on for a surprising amount of time on some hydnophytine species (part. in a few Hydnophytum spp.). They are often very confusing when one is peering through the canopy for early fruit. Please note that the flowers on both my male S. guppyana are very short-lived...perhaps 12 hours? I have noticed that when they first open in the morning, the anthers are in full contact as can be seen above. It is only much later in the day when they separate a small amount that pollen (white/gray) is evident under magnification. Your experience with squams exactly mirrors mine; by a wide margin they are the fastest growing epiphytic stem succulents that I have worked with. I wonder what Andreas's experiences are in his collection, both with these and the other Fijian species? Perhaps he can chime in here (with photos!!!). This male is still in a 15 cm basket for scale. Just two years old now. Photo was taken about three weeks back. It has definitely gotten more robust with more sunlight and heat since then. Have just moved it a bit lower down from the roof panels.
  24. Squamellaria imberbis in cultivation

    Great job with this Frank! Growers of hydnophytines worldwide should rejoice in the fact that we have seen the number of species in cultivation multiply by a factor of eight or 10 over the past several years and that four of the five genera now have self-sustaining populations in cultivation. J
  25. Hey Jay, nice flower photos you have here. My S. guppyanum is getting ready to bloom. The inflorescence has gotten to the point where it is starting to branch. No flowers have opened yet. I came here to see what the male flowers look like - as you know I am hoping for female flowers on my plant. When I looked at my plant yesterday it had a yellow body at the first branching point in the inflorescence - the same as in your photo above. I did not look at it closely - I just wrote it off as a blasted bud. But seeing your plant here with the same thing made me wonder if maybe it is an extra-floral nectery. We now know that some of the Squamellarias go out of their way to feed the ants per one of Guillaume Chromicki's recent papers. Have you examined the yellow bodies and do you have any thoughts on them? I obviously will have a closer look at the one on my plant when I get back to the greenhouse on Monday.
  26. In early November of 2014 I received a small seedling of Squamellaria imberbis from Vanua Levu, Fiji. It had no true leaves yet, only the two cotyledons. I failed to take a photo of it until mid-December of 2014 by which time it had several true leaves and only one cotyledon was still attached. From that time on it seemed to grow more quickly than any other Rubiaceous ant-plant that I have ever raised. This is what it looked like in August of 2015 growing upright in a three inch pot. At this point I wanted to switch it to growing sideways, more like they grow in habitat. So I mounted it thru a tree fern slab attached by screws to the open end of an 8 inch basket that I filled with an epiphyte growing mix and hung sideways on a wall. A year later, August of 2016, it was firmly attached in the basket and had grown considerably. Notice in this photo the rather limited number of golden hairs/projections on the caudex. This is when it started to make flowers and continued with those for about 4 months. The caudex made significant strides during that flowering period and this is what it looks like now, in May of 2017 – larger in size and with many more of the golden hairs/projections. I am waiting anxiously for it to take on the black, rugby ball look and shape! (Sorry, I could not get this image to rotate 90 degrees clockwise) As to the flowers: a total of about 30 opened during that late 2016 flowering period. For about the first 10 flowers I could find no pollen in the flowers but an ovary with a healthy looking stigma was present in all the flowers. After that I started finding pollen – maybe mostly because I started looking at the right time of day - Jay had put me on to looking about 10 am for pollen. There were lots of ants in the flowers. The ants in my collection are a small (2 mm long) species of Cardiocondyle ants, not the Philidris ants that occupy the plants on Fiji. No fruits were forming. The Cardiocondyle ants were apparently not getting the job done. Then one day I had two flowers open at the same time (this was the only time that happened) so I grabbed a camel hair brush and moved pollen between the two flowers. This was successful and two fruits started to form. As the plant was flowering I tried using the biological key in the Chromicki Squamellaria article to verify the identification of the plant - but with no success. The problem was at the #7 couplet where I was unable to convince myself that I was seeing the squamella inside the petal tube. The squamella are four small scales that are in a ring near the bottom of the petal tube. At about the same time I took a weekend workshop on DNA sequencing as used in identifying organisms and establishing taxonomic relationships. So I took a leaf of this Squamellaria plant into the workshop and they used it in their demonstrations. They isolated, multiplied and prepared the DNA for sequencing and a few weeks later sent me the results after they compared it with DNA sequences in the online Genebank. It was a match for the DNA sequence of Squamellaria imberbis in Chromicki’s paper. If we could only identify all of our plants this way!!!!! For it to be S. imberbis the squamella have to be present. So I went back to my flower photos and found two squamella in this photo. Look carefully at the tips of the arrows. The spuamella are very thin and light in color. As to the fruits. A few weeks after I discovered the fruits it was obvious they were not the same shape as the fruit photos Andreas has posted here on the forum. When the fruits ripened (a dirty orange color) the reason for the misshappened fruit was clear – my fruits had only one seed each in them instead of the expected 4. I need to work on my pollen brushing techniques! Happily both of the seeds have germinated. So Squamellaria imberbis plants are self-fertile. From sometime in January to mid-April, 2017 the plant took a breather and did not do much. In April new flower buds started to form slowly and in greater numbers than the first year of flowering. Last week I had two flowers open the same day and moved pollen between them – hoping this time to get full four-seeded fruits. I had another pair open today and did hand pollination again. Too early to tell if either of these pollination attempts have succeeded. This has been a very interesting and fast growing species.
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