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Derrick

Myrmecodia tuberosa, "siasiada village" Milne Bay Province, PNG.

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The plants from this location will be of particular interest to Aurelien. Many specimens were growing in the same trees as numerous M. platytyrea, Hydnophytum moseleyanum and even a few specimens of Lecanopteris sinuosa were present.  Fruits were orange red so differ from the translucent ruby red of Cape York, Australian M. tuberosa and the tubers are also quite different. If they truly are one 'species' then surely they require a cultivators trinomial such as M. tuberosa "Siasiada Village."

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Edited by Derrick
To avoid confusion with cultivar trinomials that start with capital letters.use

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Bonjour

 

excellent

 

in this country  a lot of tuberosa species exist , perhaps 4-5

 

difficult to discriminate just on the fruit colour

 

jeff

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Hi Derrick,

 

Indeed, this plant is interesting. Following Jebb & Huxley, only M. tuberosa 'papuana' occurs in this extreme-east part of PNG.

 

Thus, if the large, leathery leaves and long white petioles are typical of this 'nickname', as well as the spiny clypeoli, I have problems with the tubers. M. tuberosa 'papuana' should show regularly spiny tuber, and not smooth and ridged tubers like this one...

 

I think that a trinominal (nice denomination!) like your suggestion, M. tuberosa "Siasiada Village" should be interesting to distinguish this plant...

 

All the best,

Aurélien

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Derrick:

 

Great photos, as always.

 

I am not a huge fan of fruit color as a diagnostic, since it seems to vary quite a bit in cultivation between individuals, seasons and varying cultural regimens. The two notable exceptions to this are Myrmecodia beccarii and M. tuberosa 'papuana' from Oz since they are very stable, IME, but even they can show some variation in intensity. Also, without a uniform color template, one man's "orange" is another man's "dark orange" or "red". If these are indeed 'papuana' your images suggest that demes or specific ecotypes can see notable variation in fruit color, even when fairly proximate to others.

 

I thought 'papuana' had fairly conspicuous stipules on newer stem growth. Did you get any images of flowers?

 

J

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Hello Jay et al. Although fruits were plentiful there were zero flowers which was probably due to the current drought. El Nino was impacting most areas I visited, so many plants were dehydrated and lots of them had particularly small leaves. 

 

Lots of the flatter lowland regions are now covered in palm oil plantations; nevertheless, not a single ant-plant was observed in any of the remnant vegetation seen over a long drive .  Yet when I arrived at the mission just a few meters up from the Sagarai Valley floor (50m?) the very first tree I looked at was loaded with numerous plants of all three hydnophyte species listed above.  These were either stand alone specimens in the Mission grounds or were right at the edge of the nearby rain forest, so their ant-plants were very exposed to the elements.

 

The tree in this image stood right next door to the rustic 'bungalow' where I stayed and it held many specimens including mistletoes.

 

Incidentally. the lower right corrugated iron is the 'shower'.  The hardworking locals had to bring water up from the nearby creek that fortunately was still running. One used a bail from a large bucket.

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Interesting plant.  Thanks for your efforts to get us new information and great photos Derrick!  Your efforts are much appreciated.

 

Why the assumption that it is a M. tuberosa?   I have never seen that kind of caudex surface before on a tuberosa.  As the attached map shows there are other possible species.  The localities plotted on the map are the collections of each species as cited by Huxley and Jebb in their revision of the genus Myrmecodia.

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Some more thoughts here.  Looks like no bracts in the alveoli - that is going to rule out a lot of things.  As will the branched spines rimming the alveoli.

 

In the top photo one gets the idea this is perhaps a pendulous species - is that the case as well for other unphotographed plants of this species Derrick? 

 

Also in the top photo it looks to me like there is a different species to the right of the target plant.  And it has a more upright aspect and the spines on the caudex look like the spines of a M. tuberosa pulvinata caudex - which as Aurelien points out is the expected, most common variant of M tuberosa in this part of PNG

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Hello Frank.  This species, 'form' or whatever it will finally prove to be should become available in cultivation, so the name I have used is only a pro forma label (one has few literature resources in the field). However, if it is not a tuberosa form then I have zero idea what it might be.  And yes, it often grew pendent. The plant to the right is a M. platytyrea.

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Bonjour

 

in the KAREMA  province  you have others tuberosa species like tuberosa 'versteegii'  why not this one ?

 

this one is pendent ,with some branched spines , with also several stem .

 

jeff

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Huxley & Jebb note (page 285 of their revision) that M. tuberosa 'lanceolata', 'papuana' & 'pulvinata'(sic) form a continuum with their widespread lowland PNG 'taxon' 'muelleri' (sic.)   I use "sic" because all of these H&J "forms" should have double quotation marks to distinguish them from horticultural cultivars which they are certainly not.  It seems probable that this colony of M. tuberosa "Siasiada Village" may also reside somewhere under the wider umbrella of M. tuberosa "muelleri" sensu lato. 

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Huxley & Jebb note (page 285 of their revision) that M. tuberosa 'lanceolata', 'papuana' & 'pulvinata'(sic) form a continuum with their widespread lowland PNG 'taxon' 'muelleri' (sic.)   I use "sic" because all of these H&J "forms" should have double quotation marks to distinguish them from horticultural cultivars which they are certainly not.  It seems probable that this colony of M. tuberosa "Siasiada Village" may also reside somewhere under the wider umbrella of M. tuberosa "muelleri" sensu lato. 

 

I think you could be right.

After reading several time the tuberosa part of the J&C's Myrmecodia revision, I think that many of the M. tuberosa in cultivation (as nearly of of us, in Nancy) are in fact M. tuberosa 'muelleri'.

I've many doubt about the fairly common M. tuberosa 'armata' I'm nearly sure that many M. armata are in fact this muelleri...

 

Thus, IMO, one the typical aspect of M. tuberosa 'muelleri' is the long white petiole, that only a few part of your pictures depict.

 

Moreover, I agree with your remark about the quotation: it suggest that we are in presence of cultivars...

If these plants are dumped into the variable species M. tuberosa (why not), they could at least used a "scientific" name such as infraspecific rank: subpecies, variety or form...

 

The best,

Aurélien

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Bonjour

 

may be if you have a inflorescence section , you can discriminate between M.tuberosa 'armata' and M.tuberosa'muelleri'

may be areas where they were found, gives good info

 
jeff
 
 

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Aurélien:

Like you and others here I have always wondered why H&J opted for this treatment of the tuberosa group, rather than just gave them the same subspecific ranking that they gave for others in the monograph, e.g. platytyrea and schlechteri. While I find the ochlospecies concept very interesting, it seems that major characters that are used to segregate other Myrmecodia species from one another are "lumped" into the tuberosa group rather haphazardly. Thus, plants can be cleistogamous or heterostylous, inermous or heavily armed with root spines (simple or complex), possess or lack persistent stipules and/or clypeoli, have alveoli conspicuously filled with extruded bracts or not, have ripe fruits yellow, yellow-orange, reddish-orange or ruby-red, have erect or pendent growth habits, etc.

I suspect that morework will reveal that some of the varieties in the nothern part of the range are probably good subspecies or regionally-distinct ecotypes of tuberosa, while others in New Guinea and elsewhere that veer farther away from the armata-types are probably quite good "species".

J

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it 's a pity , no inflorescence section ;)

This incessant plea is silly, it adds nothing to our knowledge and is very annoying to those very few of us that add much new and useful knowledge to this forum.  Indeed, it is more of a pity that not a single hydnophyte flower was available to photograph at Breakthrough Mission.  I am currently writing an article that will assist others to 'easily' see these and three Anthorrhiza species in habitat.  I suggest you start saving for your expedition.  It is time more of you got out of your plant houses.

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Bonjour

 

to make  expeditions in these regions, it is necessary to have money and a good physical condition, unfortunately I do not have those two things.

 

the europe for some others genus, is already quite large

So I work mostly on past and current documents in our possession , like you it seem to me .

 

as a botanist I like to have correct and complete descriptions for determinations.

for these plants, these morphological details

 

-tuber

-stem

-leaves

-inflorescence

-flowers

-fruit

 

Pictures make  not everything, we also need other elements  like flowers section .

 

in  all publications, all these details are described , why not do it ?

 

jeff

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Bonjour

 

to make  expeditions in these regions, it is necessary to have money and a good physical condition, unfortunately I do not have those two things.

 

the europe for some others genus, is already quite large

So I work mostly on past and current documents in our possession , like you it seem to me .

 

as a botanist I like to have correct and complete descriptions for determinations.

for these plants, these morphological details

 

-tuber

-stem

-leaves

-inflorescence

-flowers

-fruit

 

Pictures make  not everything, we also need other elements  like flowers section .

 

in  all publications, all these details are described , why not do it ?

 

jeff

 

 

Hi Jeff,

while I understand the importance of floral morphology, it often is not very realistic to obtain them.

Even more, since this often leads to destruction of the main plant. In the wild, I often saw and photographed plants that were hanging 15-20 meters away with a big tele-lens. How would you obtain the details in such cases?

Even more, fruiting and flowering in the wild is not such a frequent event....

I often have flowers here in the greenhouse but find it incredibly difficult making preparations of flowers without destroying parts of the flowering plant - which is a no-go for me.

If you are good in doing non-destructive preparations, you are invited to come here and do some preparations. I can do the next steps doing macro-photography but honestly, my fingers are too thick and my 48 years old eyes are too bad to do the preparations... ;)

All the best

Andreas

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I understand the problem 'in situ', I'm not so obtuse.

In the other genus that interested and for which I am often 'in situ', it is also difficult and each details can be important for the determination or to discover new species, sub species, varieties or forms.

you do not have confronts you in this for the Heliamphora?

  'ex situ' although this is difficult, it's sometimes more, look J, it happens well, although sometimes the macro are not very sharp and difficult to interpret, he made some great discoveries.

sacrificing one or two flowers in my opinion it is not a drama.

 

for  Aurelien species, between tuberosa 'armata' and tuberosa 'muelleri' may be this could bring him more.

 

jeff

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magnifique ANDREAS 😍

but it is not  a Myrmecodia tuberosa, "siasiada village" Milne Bay Province, PNG,here the tuber is spiny on the first picture  no spine on the tuber

jeff

 

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Greetings.

As was originally noted, Derrick appears to have come across several remarkable Myrmecodia spp. growing in sympatry at Siasiada.

Possibilities among described species seem to be Myrmecodia platytyrea, M. albertisii, M. (tuberosa) papuana and M. schlechteri. Frank left a very useful map of probable candidates posted above.

I have a couple of reasonably large young plants from this locality that I'm growing in California that don't fit perfectly into the theoretical "mix" from the area, nor do they match the plant Andreas shows above, that seems to be lacking clypeoli (which would fit M. schlecteri ssp. pendula and M. albertisii ssp. incompta). My plants have conspicuous clypeoli ringed with spines and unbranched spines, so they're neither of those, nor M. platytyrea ssp. antoinii. Their caudex form does not match the Iron Range M. platytyrea I've grown, but the reddish-colored petioles, imbricate clypeoli and leaves appear to match Derrick's photos of wild plants shown elsewhere on the forum.

I received a single M. papuana seed mixed in with Anthorrhiza areolata which I have grown on, and it matches Cape York, Australian material that I grow perfectly so far. Nothing special about it terms of spine arrangement, clypeoli form, etc. I look forward to seeing fruit color to see whether it also matches Oz populations. In any case, it seem that few papuana outside of Australia have good locality data attached to them, so its good to have a specimen with provenance in cultivation.

Fortunately, it looks like both Andreas' plant has already flowered and mine should soon. In any case, it now looks like it is confirmed that four species occur at or very near to Siasiada.

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Above left, M. cf. platytyrea Siasiada #2, right, young M. papuana Normanby

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Side by side comparison of the two plants.

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M. cf. platytyrea Siasiada leaf detail. Like all lowlanders from PNG and Papua, they despise the cool nights here but somehow come through.

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Bonjour

a point seems important to me on the specimen that ANDREAS proposes us, the shape of the spines of the tuber, they are stellated or with a particular form, not simple spines.

What are your ideae ?

 

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As far as I can tell, nothing in Huxley & Jebb descriptions match Andreas' plant exactly. Myrmecodia albertisii ssp. incompta seems the best fit other than the leaves as described and illustrated in Fig. 15D. The authors do, however note that accessions from Normanby "...differ in leaf size, but are closely related." Last night I had completely forgotten that I have a compot of  M. "tuberosa" Siasiada here at the house. I checked the leaves today and they match Andreas' plant shown above although they are probably a year behind his and don't have spines yet.

J

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