Rita Kupke

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    Queensland, Australia

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  1. Derrick and Stone Jaguar We started our nursery, "Takarah Gardens", in 1996, in Mackay, Queensland with the intention of growing Tassel Ferns so the populations in the wild could survive while making available Tassel Ferns for the fern enthusiast. We have a Queensland Dept. of Environment and Heritage Propagator's permit as these are protected plants. Of course, as we all do, we began to expand into growing other varieties of plants such as Platyceriums, Ant Plants and Dischidias. We do not have a web site because we are a small nursery and struggle to keep up supply as it takes 3 years to grow a Tassel Fern large enough to sell. I'm not sure we can handle the wide marketing that you are suggesting, Derrick. A totally different story for Ant Plants and Dischidias. It seems that these plants are becoming very popular. With regard to forest enrichment projects, only the species from that particular area can be returned to the wild so the provenance of the plants is an important detail. We have grown on some plants that were collected with permission from the wild so that they could be returned to their area once the development had been completed. Regards Rita
  2. Hello Jeff Yes, the Hydnophytum moseleyanum, NG form, is magnificent. In our nursery we propagate Ant Plants, Tassel Ferns (Huperzia sp.), Lecanopteris sinuosa, Platyceriums, Dischidias and Anthuriums. These are all epiphytic plants and the same fertiliser is used on all of these except the Anthuriums. The product is a controlled release fertiliser called Yates Nutricote Total plus Trace Elements, 360 day, which is an ammonium nitrate based fertiliser. N 18.7, P 2.7, K 6.3 We have 12 varieties of Ant Plants. Australian: Myrmecodia beccarii Southern Form, smooth caudex Myrmecodia beccarii Northern Form, spiny caudex Myrmecodia tuberosa, Cape York Myrmecodia tuberosa, Lockhart River, Cape York Myrmecodia platytyrea antonii, Mossman Form Hydnophytum moseleyanum, Qld Hydnophytum ferrugineum, McIlwraith Range, Cape York, Qld Exotic: Myrmecodia tuberosa Armata, Malaysia Myrmecodia tuberosa Bogor Gardens, West Java Myrmecodia tuberosa Dahlii, New Britain Island, NG Hydnophytum moseleyanum, NG Hydnophytum simplex, Aru Island, NG Summer is the time when the Ant Plants are flowering and fruiting. The seed is sown as soon as the fruit is picked. Germination is usually from 7 days. The photo below shows how I germinate my seeds. The photo below is of the parent plants of M. tuberosa Armata, Malaysia which were given to me by Dr Ashley Field. They are very prolific producers. Ashley has also given me M. tuberosa Bogor Gardens and M. tuberosa Dahlii and the very rare Hydnophytum ferrugineum which he personally collected from the McIlwraith Range in Cape York, Queensland. Below is a photo of the original H. ferrugineum plant Ashley gave me as well as some that I have propagated. Below is a photo of two M. tuberosa Dahlii that I have propagated from the plant that Ashley gave me. Hope this has been helpful. Rita
  3. In Mackay, Central Queensland, the Ant Plants usually flower and produce drupes from November to March. Propagation includes a layer of orchid nuggets (8 - 10mm), diatomite and jumbo perlite, some slow release fertiliser and a layer of sphagnum moss on top. The seeds are squeezed onto the moss and watered in. Germination usually about 7 days. The trays of individual plants in 50mm tubes at rear were germinated in November and potted into tubes last week (20 weeks). The large ant plant at rear on right is Myrmecodia platytyrea antonii (Mossman form). I acquired it as a seedling on 01.10.2001 from Trevor Ford who lives near Mossman, Queensland. The Ant plant at rear left is one that I have grown from the parent plant. Trevor Ford also gave me seedlings of Hydnophytum moseleyanum Qld form and NG form on 01.10.2001. They are now growing in 600mm trays. Pictured is the original NG Hydnophytum moseleyanum. Potting mix consists of 10mm orchid nuggets, cocochip, diatomite and jumbo perlite.