Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Cryptocoryne cf. ×willisii (Aquafleur Cryptocoryne amicorum)

Edited: 9/05/17 to change the name

Cryptocoryne cf. ×willisii Aquafleur Cryptocoryne amicorum

Young plants waiting to be potted.

The dutch company Aquafleur propagates this plant and calls it Cryptocoryne amicorum.  The problem is that Crypt. amicorum is now widely accepted as a synonym of the older name Cryptocoryne minima and this plant looks quite different to Crypt. minima.

Speculation on the APC forum suggests this is perhaps a variety of Cryptocoryne ×willisii (presumably because of the distinctive shape of the leaves). For now I'm changing my labels to Cryptocoryne cf. ×willisii (amicorum). The cf. is an abbreviation for the latin confer and is used in this manner to mean "looks like but we dont know the real name".

Crypt IDs can do your head in.  I really want to get this one into emersed culture and see a spathe to have a better indication of what it really is.    It bothers me to change the name from the label that came with the plant... but it bothers me more that the supplying companies don't care a little more to get the names right.

Cryptocoryne walkeri 'legroi'

Cryptocoryne walkeri 'legroi' - a crappy photo of a plant that has now melted.  I have some coming back in emersed pots.  Seems a very fickle plant that needs no excuse to melt.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Cryptocoryne beckettii

A Cryptocoryne beckettii spathe

A Cryptocoryne beckettii spathe

A pretty rough 'n ready Crypt. beckettii spathe.  Plenty of new growth so clearly the plant is happy enough.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Cryptocoryne crispatula var. kubotae

This is a young plant coming back from near death after a brief stint submerged.  The variety that is in Australia is proving very hard to grow immersed but is quite robust emersed. It was thought to be lost for many years...but miraculously was found in a collection or re-imported.

The variety we knew as Crypt tonkinensis was recently named Cryptocoryne crispatula var. kubotae

Niels Jacobsen, Jan D. Bastmeijer, Bhanubong Bongcheewin, Takashige Idei, Duangchai Sookchaloem & Marian ├śrgaard (2015) A new variety of Cryptocoryne crispatula Engl. (Araceae) from Thailand.  Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany) p.p. 104–110 [download PDF ]

The "real" tonkinensis from the former Tonkin province in northern Vietnam is a more robust plant : see: Willdenowia August 2015,- "The identity of Cryptocoryne crispatula var. tonkinensis (Araceae)"

Every day... something new :D

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Back into the glasshouse

On the assumption that last Thursday's warm spell in Melbourne is the last of the warmer weather I've moved the crypts back into the glasshouse. They still get very cold at night (was down to 10C in the crypt boxes the other night) but during the day they warm up and I have to be careful that with direct sun they don't get too hot. Today when I took these photos it was 33C under the bubblewrap. I have recorded up to 45C under the plastic and the plants cope well (in fact its after very hot periods that I get C. wendtii and C. spriralis spathes). The water and pots are not this hot - (reminds me I should move the probe into the water not in the air!). There are a few empty pots scattered in the boxes. These are not dead plants but just potting mix that is "maturing" in situ. I have a theory that planting into an established pot prevents "crypt melt".

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Cryptocoryne albida 'costata'

Cryptocoryne albida costata

The green plant is an unknown - Has similar leaf shape to red leafed Crypt. albida 'costata'. I'm waiting on flowers to confirm

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Starting the emersed crypt collection

When we bought our house it included a run down garden shed where the roof had rusted and collapsed in. I bought some translucent fibreglass factory roofing cheap on ebay and put on a roof to make a kids cubby house...(+ gravel floor and the kids had fun painting it). They used it for a few weeks but it was too hot and uncomfortable in summer and after a while it collected spiders and rat droppings and became a no-go zone. Five years later I dumped the rat infested couch and mouldy rug and reclaimed the space.

I've grown many different crypts in planted tanks but not emersed before. I started my "formal" collection only 12 months ago. My "grand plan" is to propagate up enough of each type to have 2 pots of each variety emersed, get flowers and confirm IDs where I can and then compare and contrast to another 2 pots growing submersed in tanks... then share around the "offspring". For some slow growing crypts its going to take a while.

I'm growing my crypts in 95mm pots sitting in polystyrene boxes with water 10-20mm below the soil level under bubblewrap to contain the warmth and humidity. The lighting under the fibreglass is very subdued and diffuse.. but crypts grow on the forest floor in low light so it works well. Since most of the plants are fairly new the only maintenance I do is to remove any dead material so it doesn't go mouldy and on very hot days (<38C) I throw off the plastic and turn on a couple of misting sprays and wedge the door open so they don't bake (can see the black dripper line under the roof in the first pic). If any of the pots get mouldy I add more water to the polystyrene box to drown all the pots for a few days... and then siphon out the excess water a few days later which seems to fix it. One day I hope to have the burden of repotting pot-bound plants, but for now its set-and-forget. I tried having the water over the top of the soil level but the pots got a lot of algae. There are some varieties that may need to be a bit deeper (thinking of the crypt siamensis group) but so far they are struggling on OK. Some will also need bigger pots.

The potting mix is a DIY mix of old aquarium gravel (~<60%), peat moss (~<%40) (the good stuff not the pine bark rubbish Bunnings sell), some handfuls of "magic red clay" some shellgrit, a small amount of "rooster booster" chook poo fertiliser and I bury a small amount of osmocote in each pot.

In winter - I pick up the polystyrene boxes and put them in a glasshouse - but keep the bubblewap over them to keep them warmer and keep the humidity in. I measured the water as low as 8-10C last winter, but there were enough sunny days to warm them up and get them through the winter. Not all the plants in the photo have been through a winter yet so my fingers will be crossed... but thats months away.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Cryptocoryne spiralis

A Cryptocoryne spiralis spathe
A Cryptocoryne spiralis spathe

Crypt spiralis seems to flower a lot at the end of March. These pics are from last year and the plants now fill the pots.

Thursday, 7 January 2016