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Aurélien

Hydnophytum cf. formicarum, Matarombeo, Sulawesi Tenggara

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Hello all,

 

I just come back from South East Sulawesi, where I look particularly carnivorous plants and ant-plants.

 

To begin, some photos of Hydnophytum, I quite sure that it's H. formicarum.

 

412779Hydnophytumformicarum5.jpg

 

135702Hydnophytumformicarum24.jpg

 

850257Hydnophytumformicarum22.jpg

 

755316Hydnophytumformicarum31.jpg

 

They grew in really open area, on trees which had not a lot of leaves (perhaps Eucalyptus deglupta). The trees were really spaced from each other and I suspect them to lose their leaves at some season of the year.

I see Hydnophytum only on high trees (never under 15m high), in full sun, full wind, and always in vertical parts of the trunk. Furthermore, this part of the Island have a really drought season from june to november. So, they litteraly not have a single drop of water for half a year!

Following Indonesian people, the rainy season is also really hard because a lot of water drop in a few months. The river that we see lacks about 4 or 5 meter high water in comparaison to the rain season!

 

Here a tuber freshly fallen:

 

670730Hydnophytumformicarum9.jpg

 

828025Hydnophytumformicarum10.jpg

 

Gallery and ants are truly visible.

 

537250Hydnophytumformicarum12.jpg

 

820033Hydnophytumformicarum11.jpg

 

This one is falled since longer time (my foot for comparison, it's quite huge!):

 

959997Hydnophytumformicarum27.jpg

 

Galery are still visible, and ants also.

 

596270Hydnophytumformicarum32.jpg

 

I hope you enjoy it!

 

Next day, newt pics.

 

All the best,

 

Aurélien

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This tuber ion particular, was the only one in a big area and was simply gigantic!

 

537376Hydnophytumformicarum51.jpg

 

464043Hydnophytumformicarum59.jpg

 

We cannot resist to the wish to climb the tree where it grow (about 20 m high)

 

706527Hydnophytumformicarum62.jpg

 

550741Hydnophytumformicarum67.jpg

 

The tuber was so big that I can't take a picture of all the plant when I was on the tree. I measured the circumference : about 155cm!

 

906227Hydnophytumformicarum64.jpg

 

297759Hydnophytumformicarum66.jpg

 

And some picture of ant-entries...

 

766495Hydnophytumformicarum74.jpg

 

299927Hydnophytumformicarum68.jpg

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Derrick   

The large size of this hydnophytum is revealing. Already there are hints that at least some of the maximum sizes recorded in the literature are far too conservative.  From my limited field experiences I have seen examples of plants growing in particularly beneficial and fire protected sites that were enormous.

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Its size is revealing? But what does it reveal? Its age or the good conditions of this ecosysteme for Hydnophytum's growth?

I indeed often read that Hydnophytum's tuber could reach the size of an human head...

Needless to say that I never see anybody with a so big head!

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Aurelian:

 

Thanks for the very interesting images, particularly those that show the details of the domatia.

 

As anyone who has grown Hydnophytum moseleyanum under ideal conditions for protracted periods of time knows, some of these plants can achieve impressive dimensions in fairly short order. Some of the decades-old plants that are shown in images taken in situ on this forum provide evidence that they may achieve mammoth proportions in nature.

 

Cheers,

 

J

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