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Myrmecodia Beccarii 'Northern Form' in cultivation

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I thought to share a few observations of growing this plant after Jay informed me that only the southern spineless form is commonly grown in the USA. I received 15 small seedling plants that were germinated in a piece of tree  fern on the 21st Dec.2014 from an orchid nursery in Cairns. This form is also from the Cairns area and by the 23rd Jan 2015 the seedlings had grown so much they were starting so squash into each other. I then started the difficult task of breaking up the tree fern so I could split up the seedling and pot them individually without doing too much damage to their roots. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures at this stage, but the larger seedling had a caudex about 30mm in dia. and there was quiet a variation in size among the siblings.


A cross section of some of the plants today from 45mm to 80mm caudex size.post-54-0-34773100-1457232306_thumb.jpg


This  form does not start to grow its spines until its caudex reaches about 50mm in dia. and the first spines  usually start on the lower parts of the caudex and on one end before covering the whole caudex.


The plant on the left has a caudex of 45mm and its first spine at lower left, the plant on the right has a caudex of 50mm and its first group of spines on the lower left side.post-54-0-46510800-1457233383_thumb.jpg


Most of the larger plants have quiet uniform spines but one plant has developed spines that are a bit longer and more widely spaced.


Plant on the left has a 65mm caudex and long widely spaced spines, the plant on the right has an 80mm caudex and typical spines, it is also the largest of the group and is starting to develop flower buds.post-54-0-88493900-1457234105_thumb.jpg


In summery I find this form the fastest growing Myrmecodia species in my collection so far, I grow it hung up high in my shadehouse in natural light under about 60% shadecloth.

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Hi J


It is interesting that you commented that these plants look like M.platytyrea, I have been a bit concerned about their identity. The leaves look more like those of M.platytyrea 'Mossman Form", also the ridges on the caudex. Its not unusual for ant plants to be be misidentified here, especially from nurseries that don't specialise in them. These days I only get  plants from specialised nurseries like Rita Kupke's or collectors that specialise in these plants. Fruit colour will finally give a positive identification to these plants and I would not be surprised if they turn out to be M.platytyrea and this post will have to be renamed! In the meantime Rita has some definite young M.beccarii 'Northern Form', so I will get one from her for comparison.



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Bonjour ROBERT


great success , you also :wub:


on the 2  last picture , it seem to see M.beccarii ,especially seeing the small annex stem on the principal stem , no spines rimming clypeoli  (or what appears to be one)


wait and see later



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  • 2 weeks later...

HI Jeff


The Mossman form M.platytyrea is commonly multi-stemmed compared to the Cape York form, so seeing side stems starting to form on a young plant is not unusual for this form, also the largest plant is starting to form spines around what will be the clypeoli. Rita sent me down two M.beccarii 'Northern Forms' which arrived on Tuesday 15th and I can say with a fair degree of confidence that the above plants are actually M.platytyrea 'Mossman Form' and not M.beccarii. When I get a bit more spare time I will post a picture of the young M.beccarii 'Northern Form' and the clypeoli spines starting on the young M.platytyrea.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Last month I got Rita to send me down a young plant of M.beccarii (Northern form-Cairns) and M.platytytea sub.antoinii "Mossman form" from her nursery for comparison. I also got in contact with the nursery in Cairns that I got the original seedlings from and they confirmed that they have several species other than M.beccarii "Northern form" and that I could have been sent one of these.


The photo shows M.platytyrea sub.antoinii "Mossman Gorge" on the the left and  M.beccarii "northern form" from Cairns on the right. Caudex size of these plants is 30mm.


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