Epiphyte

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  1. Saw this thread in the GrowingOnTheEdge forum. It contained a photo of a super neat high-elevation habitat with some ant plants growing on tree ferns. Searched for the photo and found the same photo here. Then I searched for the text on Flickr and found it... Puncak Jaya and ....... with Fern Trees. After that I shared the photo with the Epiphyte Society on Facebook. Lastly I figured that I'd inform you folks about the photo. It's not tagged with keywords related to ant plants so you wouldn't find it via a relevant Flickr search. It's the first time that I've ever seen ant plants growing on tree ferns. According to this page, it seems like the ferns are at around 3,500 m, 11,500 ft elevation. I wonder where in the world would be the closest sea level climate equivalent? I'm going to suggest Eureka, CA. I'm sure that there's a closer match though. I really don't know about the temps at the equatorial (more or less) elevation of 3500 m. I'm guessing it's pretty brisk.
  2. Broadening the forum's appeal/relevance is a really wonderful idea. I suggested the same thing back in 2014 but I supremely and superbly and spectacularly failed to sell the idea! Speaking of failing to sell ideas... I'd also love to test out the pragmatarian model. Each month forum members would pay $1 dollar... but they could choose which posts they allocate their pennies to. This would... 1. help cover maintenance costs 2. allow us to use our pennies to communicate our valuation of the content 3. provide an incentive for people to share valuable content 4. allow people to quickly and easily find the most valuable content I just recently posted a blog entry about this model... Cross Pollination: Journalists and Economists.
  3. Stone Jaguar! Thanks to you there's a Yucca growing on my tree! Regarding images of epiphytic ant plants...I'm guessing that you're not on flickr? Flickr has a bunch of really great photos of EAPs. The problem is that nobody has consolidated them all. It was the same thing with photos of orchids growing on trees. So I created a flickr group dedicated to orchids growing on trees. I searched for relevant photos and invited them to be added to the group. Now the photos are all in one place. Hopefully the group will help inspire more people to grow orchids on trees. How can epiphyte enthusiasts who don't grow any EAPs participate on this forum? Oops, I hadn't scrolled down far enough to find the category for non-ant plants. I suppose it's pretty much the equivalent of the PalmTalk's category for tropical looking plants other than palms. I'm not much of a palm guy so that's the only category I participate in. Perhaps that's why I haven't witnessed the shenanigans to which you refer. Thanks for the info regarding temperature tolerance. I'd be somewhat surprised if Myrmecodia beccarii was the only Rubiaceae EAP that can grow outdoors year around here in Southern California. Unlike the epiphytic ant ferns. I would be surprised, and very pleasantly so, if any of them could grow outside here. So are you going to post any threads here about your epiphytic blueberries? You should really start a blog because it's hard to keep up with which forums you post on.
  4. Andreas, thanks for the insight! You're correct that a large proportion of epiphytes are orchids. And they are by far the most popular group of epiphytes. But you're incorrect that having one category for orchids will somehow "mask" less popular epiphytes such as the ant plants. Like I noted in my second post...the carnivorous plant forum has a category for orchids and in no way, shape or form has this negatively impacted the main topic of carnivorous plants. If somebody wants to discuss only orchids...then why would they join this forum, with only one category for orchids, when they could join these other forums... OrchidBoard OrchidForums OrchidSource ...that have many categories for orchids? If this forum had a category for orchids then I would definitely recommend that this list of dedicated orchid forums be stuck to the top of the orchid category. If this forum only had one category for ant plants...perhaps people who want to discuss only EAPs wouldn't be interested in becoming members? Except, if this forum had one category for ant plants...then it would still have one more category than all the other plant forums have. What I mean is...I participate in many plant forums and not a single one of them has even one category for ant plants. Why is that? It's because there isn't enough demand. If there isn't enough demand for ant plant discussion to warrant even one category on other plant forums...then why do you think there's enough demand to warrant an entire forum dedicated to ant plant discussion? Don't get me wrong...I'm a huge fan of the whole..."If you build it they will come" concept. Except, in this case, I believe its counterproductive. Not enough people are going to come. Even if you broadened the scope to include all epiphytes I'm not sure if enough people would come. For example...do a search for epiphyte blogs and tell me how many you find. Of course the correct answer will always be "not enough"...heh. I suppose I'm coming off as critical rather than supportive and constructive. Sorry about that. It's just that I don't know a single person who only grows EAPs. I have quite a few local "plant" friends and they all grow a wide variety of epiphytes. When I send out my next e-mail newsletter to the Epiphyte Society of Southern California (ESSC)...I'm definitely going to encourage our members to join this forum. But I know for a fact that they would be more inclined to join if they could discuss other epiphytes as well. Heck, that's why I didn't immediately sign up. I doubt it will be worth it for most of them to go through the hassle of registration if all they can discuss are EAPs...which at most represent 1% of their collections. To help illustrate my point...let's consider one of the ESSC's many outstanding members...Alfred. You can see his photos on flickriver. As you can tell, orchids are definitely his favorite epiphyte. If you search his photos for "Hydnophytum" or "Myrmecodia" or even "ant" you're not going to find any results. But if you actually visited his garden then you'd find at least one EAP. You'd also find a few other epiphytes such as a handful of Tillandsias (here and here), some Platyceriums such as ridleyi and Little Will, a few Ascleps such as this Hoya serpens specimen and some other epiphytes. I'd be somewhat surprised if Alfred took the time and effort to register for this forum to only discuss EAPs. And maybe that's how you want it to be. It just seems like this type of strategy of weeding out people who merely like (rather than love) EAPs really isn't the best way to cultivate interest in EAPs. I could be wrong though. It's not like I've discovered the secret to cultivating interest in epiphytes! Maybe I should see if Selby Botanical Gardens is interested in hosting a forum for all epiphytes? I suppose it wouldn't hurt to ask. It just seems like it would be far more mutually beneficial if we could all be together under the same roof. Alfred could benefit from your EAP expertise and perhaps you could benefit from his orchid expertise.
  5. Derrick, do you grow any EAPs outdoors year around in New Zealand? So your argument is that less people would participate on this forum if the subject was broadened to include all epiphytes? How's that even possible? Who would leave and for what reasons? Maybe somebody would say, "ughhh, there goes the neighborhood"? Did people leave the Dendroboard when a category for plants was added? Did participation decrease on the GardenWeb when they created a category for orchids? Was there a mass exodus on the PalmTalk forum when a category was added for tropical looking plants other than palms? Do less people join the Carnivorous Plant Forum because they have a category for orchids, a category for bromeliads, tillandsias, ferns, a category for cactus and succulents, and a category for miscellaneous plants? Would the members of the carnivorous plant forum revolt if a category was added for EAPs? Regarding your example of the facebook page....Planet Epiphyte - Myrmecophyte - Lithophyte - Xerophyte...that sucks that there's spam and its inputs are dismal. But why do you think these things are caused by the group's broad scope? The numerous forums I listed above clearly indicate that the two things are not at all positively correlated. Unlike forums...facebook groups/pages do not have categories. A while back I brought an orchid in for "show and tell" at my local fern society meeting. I overheard one old lady tell her friend, "I thought this was a fern society". Heh. Evidently I was wasting her time. The same thing can happen on a facebook group/page because there's only one stream. But forums can have multiple "streams" (categories) and members choose for themselves which categories they view. Therefore, it's not at all a zero sum game. Topics are by no means mutually exclusive. More orchid threads really doesn't mean less fern threads. Let's say that right now 100% of the members here on this forum grow EAPs. If you broadened this forum's scope to include all epiphytes...then what percentage of the members would grow EAPs? Maybe 10%? If you had 1000 members... then 100 would grow epiphytic ant plants and 900 would grow other epiphytes. Why wouldn't you want to lure in 900 epiphyte growers? Do you have a better target audience in mind? Maybe you perceive that you can grow the membership by preaching to the choir? Maybe you believe that jumping from growing epiphytes to growing epiphytic ant plants is the equivalent of jumping the grand canyon? It's an impossible leap? Out of curiosity I checked flickr to see if there was a group for ant plants and I found one... Ant Plants - Myrmecodia and related genera. As the title indicates... no Lecanopteris, Myrmecophilas or Dischidias allowed! The group has 25 members. How many more members would the group have if all EAPs were allowed? Maybe less than 235 members? That's how many members the epiphyte group on flickr that I help run has. So are you going to join flickr and start a group dedicated to all EAPs? Then again...that scope might be too broad. You certainly wouldn't want people to be jacks of all trades and masters of none. If that truly concerns you then perhaps you should narrow the scope of this forum to only cover Myrmecodia and related genera.
  6. My first post! I'm going to attach a few epiphytes (topics) to this branch (thread). I found out about this forum a few months ago on ebay. I probably did a search for "Myrmecodia" but I can't remember exactly which vendor it was that mentioned this forum in the item's description. Epiphytic ant plants are awesome so it was pretty great to learn about this place. I immediately added it to my long list of plant forum bookmarks and every once in a while I lurked around. It's been on my "to do" list to register and I finally got around to it. A little bit about me... I live in Glendale, Southern California and I LOVE epiphytes! I grow a wide variety of epiphytes outdoors year around. Last year I posted a short blog entry on some of my ant plants... Epiphytic Ant Plants Outdoors in Southern California? I think it would be really helpful if there was a comprehensive list of epiphytic ant plants (EAPs) that could be grown outdoors year around in places like Southern California. How many EAPs don't require a greenhouse in SoCal? Is it a long list? If this list was compiled and widely disseminated... then more people would grow EAPs. Wouldn't you like to walk around SoCal and see EAPs growing on lots of trees? I know I would! Now, like I said, I think this forum is great...but there's not much activity. I'm definitely biased but maybe a better strategy would have been to start an epiphyte forum instead? Then you could have had a category dedicated to APs. I'm pretty sure that many of you grow other epiphytes besides APs...right? Any of you grow any epiphytic blueberries...aka "Ericas"? I sure wouldn't be surprised if my friend Dave started a forum dedicated to Ericas. He really loves them. But how much activity would it have though? Maybe less activity than this forum? But Dave doesn't just grow Ericas...he also grows a bunch of other epiphytes...ferns, orchids, Gesneriads, Tillandsias, Bromeliads, APs, Anthuriums, Hoyas, Dischidias, Rhipsalis, Peperomias...it's a long list. In theory, a forum with all these groups would be quite active. And it's a given that there would be plenty of spillover. Lateral movement is super easy. Plenty of epiphytic plants are quite happy growing in a moss basket. So it seems likely that the individual groups would grow much faster together than if they were apart. Not sure though how large a group would have to be to support its own forum. Clearly the orchid group is already large enough. It's large enough to support several forums. Haven't visited the bromeliad forum very much lately so not sure how active it's been. How would the categories be sorted in an epiphyte forum? Alphabetically? If so, then the ant plants would be at the top of the list! The simplest approach to starting an epiphyte forum would be to just use this forum. The domain name wouldn't have to change...just the title and description. Rather than "the ant plant forum" it would be "the epiphyte forum". Then you would move all the EAP threads into one category. Lastly you would change the names of the current categories. Voila! When people registered...they'd basically be registering for a dozen forums rather than just one... Ant plants Aroids Ascleps Bromeliads Cactus Ericas Ferns Gesneriads Melastomas Misc Orchids Peperomias And when people told their friends about this forum...they wouldn't just be promoting one group...they'd be promoting twelve groups. It should generate twelve times the interest. Perhaps Selby would be twelve times more likely to help spread the word? Basically you catch more fish with a larger net. Which is why you should all start blogs if you haven't already done so!