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A fantastic new seed source.


Derrick
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I am posting this here primarily for Jay Vannini whom is among the very best cultivators of ant-plants on our planet, but his disdain for Facebook means he is probably missing an invaluable communications source because it is evident that noone on this site has the initiative to share even very important ant-plant news.

I will now set some background.  Papua New Guinea is not a developed country and survival there is very demanding especially in remote areas.  I was asked to talk to the kids in the mission school about their local ant-plants. Many of the trees in the mission grounds were replete with myrmecophytic guilds.  The school had no desks and seats and not a book or writing paper etc. to be seen.  When I got home I sent the school a carton of story books but the postage just to the Alotau post office cost more than the contents.  Thus expect to pay very well for initial seed offers.

Yet even in very distant villages the locals have limited modern  communications using smartphones and solar powered chargers. A couple of years ago I was able to reach some of the very remote islands out in the Solomon Sea which are home to a number of rubiacious ant-plants.  One of our principal local ecoguides was Enoch Bulunamur who is based in the mission grounds near Siasiada Village on the mainland.  He is now very interested in ant-plants and is discovering ever more new to cultivation species (indeed some not even published yet) and many are now being cultivated in the Breakthrough Mission grounds.

On my visit we found Anthorrhiza areolata, A. bracteosa, A. recurvispina and what I have tentatively labelled Myrmecodia tuberosa "siasiada village" because it appears to be different from all other Huxley & Jebb 'variants' and other taxa of lesser importance. Since then Enoch has discovered ever more populations of hydnophytums some of which are yet to be published species and one that may be placed in another possibly even a new genus.  Most species are not in cultivation.

Enoch is now offering seed but I have advised him that he should sell first offers to the highest bidder because of course such rarities are an investment to suitably capable cultivators.  This is a huge learning curve for Enoch and if he is succesful then there is a strong possibility he can extend his contacts throughour the PNG mainland so that cultivators can acquire a whole new world of interest. Already Enoch has contacts on the mainland that are reporting ripening hydnophyte seed.  It is important to understand that Enoch has very very limited capital to build this venture.

Currently communication to Enoch is only through Facebook.  I suggest Facebook's "Ant-plant Cultivation" https://www.facebook.com/groups/1498448190449446/about/ as the best site for communication with Enoch Bulunamur but Epiphytic Myrecophyte Images https://www.facebook.com/groups/498723016920977/ offers the best site regarding accurate information regarding the various taxa.

There is risk in importing seed thus it is best that it be in the hands of very capable cultivators that also ensure Enoch has the best means of getting such seed to their destination in viable condition.

 

 

     

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Enoch has or will have access to seed of the following species not yet in cultivation as far as I am aware. Anthorrhiza areolata. A. bracteosa, A. recurvispina,  Hydnophytum orichalcum (a Jebb & Huxley unpublished species but possibly not a Hydnophytum, thus particularly interesting, H. petiolatum var argentatum which is a Jebb & Huxley unpublished new variety from Normanby Island. Myrmecodia "gurney" with reputedly pink fruits, M. tuberosa "siasiada village" which is probably a new 'variant' or may prove to be a new species. Among those fairly common in cultivation are Hydnophytum moseleyanum, the ant-fern Lecanopteris sinuosa (ripe spores survive posting fairly well and Myrmecodia platytyrea subsp. antoinii. He has also found populations of one of the large leafed Hydnophytum species that may be something new but a number of species are in cultivation. Photos of them all are recorded in https://www.facebook.com/groups/498723016920977/. Also bear in mind that Huxley and Jebb's M. tuberosa 'variants' may prove to be full species after future DNA studies. Dischidia nummularia, D. ovata and others are also possibles.

Edited by Derrick
correction
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