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Jay takes his ant-plants seriously!!!


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Ready for some fabulous reading accompanied by great photos and exquisite artwork!

There is a marvelous new website and blog online hosted by one of our most knowledgeable and valuable members, Jay Vannini.

It is his "Exotica Esoterica" and it is at:   https://www.exoticaesoterica.com/

After looking around there for only a few minutes you will see that Jay is an expert at more than just our ant-plants.

His initial article about ant-plants - "The Big Five: Commonly-cultivated Caudexed Ant Plants" is fantastic.  And he has promised more such ant-plant information will follow!  Go read this article right now.  It has the history of our hobby woven in with specific details about many of the plants we grow as well as cultural notes about how he grows them.  And we all know from his posts here that he grows them very, very well!


Thanks very much Jay

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First a very sincere thank you to Jay for this magnificent work. One thing I can add about the Mossman Gorge population of Myrmecodia platytyrea subsp antoinii is that its location in the wet tropics is very different from its usual locations in the monsoon rain-forests that are extremely widespread to the far north. The wet tropics do not have a very distinct 'winter' dry season while the harshest monsoon rain-forests and savannahs have 'winter' dry seasons that can last for about seven months. I have only been able to observe and photograph Mossman specimens perched high in heavily epiphyte and liane burdened trees, so I have not been able to closely compare their forms.  However, suffice to say they differed from all northern populations, and I have seen these over enormous regions of Cape York Peninsula, Australia. 

Edited by Derrick
Bad eyesight
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  • 1 month later...

Derrick, I agree that photographing M.platytyrea in Mossman Gorge is fairly difficult as they are high up in the trees and the underside of the plants almost always come out dark in photos because of lighting through the canopy and the fact that you are below the plant in most instances. On the 8th of October 2018 I was in Mossman Gorge trying to get a descent photo of this plant in the wild with very limited success, about a 20 minute drive  north of the gorge I called in on a very keen grower of plants with Ant-plants being some of his favorites. He has over the years collected many different forms and populations and introduced them into the hobby and is always in contact with Dr. Ashley Field, Rita Kupke and myself as well as growers of other types of native and exotic plants. This provided me with a unique opportunity  to photograph the Mossman Gorge and Iron Range forms of M.platytyrea sub. antoinii within a couple of hours of each other, as he has the Iron Range form growing on trees in his garden as well as other species and forms from the Cape and locally.

Below is an Iron Range M.platytyrea growing in a garden about a 20 minute drive north of Mossman Gorge.

Next down is a close up of the Iron Range forms caudex.

Next down is a photo of a large M.platytyrea sub. antoinii in situ in Mossman Gorge.

Next down is a close up of the Mossman Gorge caudex and parts of the stems.



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