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Stone Jaguar

Mature Hydnophytum puffii

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Greetings.

Although many forum members are quite familiar with this species through interaction with plants in their own collections, there are not a lot of good images available of fully mature Hydnophytum puffi that illustrate what they are capable of achieving in terms of size when in cultivation. I have attached a pair of photos take yesterday of my original plant, obtained as a seedling from our own esteemed Frank Omilian five years ago. The plant is established in a 20 cm/8" basket. Total canopy spread is ~75 cm/30". 

IMG_20170207_144247.jpg

During the winter this species sheds leaves on a constant basis so it looks a little bit ratty now, but this is also peak flowering and fruiting period. The combination of a very striking caudex with a spreading, almost acacia tree-like canopy is most attractive. I find that many orchid and carnivorous plant people who visit the greenhouse that are not otherwise too impressed by hydnophytines find H. puffii extremely appealing. Of all of the hydnophytine species that I grow, this one is the most amenable to bonsai-type training and cultivation.

Hydnophytum puffii - Sarawak.jpg

Given its prolific nature, this species is fast becoming a common species in cultivation. It would be great if we had some fresh accessions to augment a genetic base that apparently derives from a single wild plant.

 

J

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Ah, Jay,   I don't feel so "esteemed" when I see how much better you grow my plants than I do!........laughing!!..

Great plant and great photo!

I concur from my plants that this species flowers and fruits in January, February and March here in the Northern hemisphere with a few sporadic fruits other times of the year.  Those of you growing this below the equator - what say you on their flowering season?

For a number of years I found it rather disconcerting that this species is actively loosing leaves at the exact time it is reproducing.  Thought I was growing them wrong.  Seems like this would be a time you would want to keep maximum photosynthetic surface area so you could maximize seed production?

When I first started growing Rubiaceous ant-plants I assumed they would grow year-round because they come from so close to the equator.  The reality for me growing here at 42 degrees N latitude is that most do their best growing in the summer with some pushing either way into spring or fall.  Only H. puffii is clearly a vigorous winter grower and reproducer for me.

Edited by Frank
removed erroneous information

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Hi, Frank.

Thank you! I think you may have momentarily confused this with the Leiden H simplex accession, which also is a one-off, I believe.

Art Vogel, formerly curator at Leiden, posted partial accession data here in August 2014. It was collected at Nabawan, Interior Division, Sabah in December 1995. This is a fully lowland tropical locality, as are the other collection localities listed in the published description of H. puffii.

I know that at least a couple growers in Asia are making an effort to get a new batch of wild-collected seed into cultivation.

I now suspect that the seasonal slow motion leaf shed - that apparently everyone on the forum experiences, no matter where their location - is an adaptation to facilitate avian access to ripe fruits on the wiry stems. For sure it is far more abrupt and dramatic when the temps are allowed to drop too much, but they abort fruit at that point, too.

J

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Hi Frank,

I am growing this species in the southern hemisphere at  28o south in S.E.Queensland. The first small flowering on a 19 month old seedling occurred between the 20th to the 29th of October, which is our mid spring. No leaves were shed though until a misshap with a neem oil spray a week or so later followed by a fairly hot day caused about 60-70% of the leaves and its first three fruit to fall off. I was NOT happy!  But the plant soon started to push out new growth and yesterday the first flower from a new bigger batch of flower buds opened, we are in the last month of summer here with about 22oC av.min. to 32oC av. max. for the last month. So at this stage not following main flowering times as in the northern hemisphere , or it may just be sporadic flowering and the plant might settle down to a main flowering period as it matures. This plant is grown in natural sunlight under shadecloth.

 

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