Saturday, December 27, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
This species come from Southern China and extend to Southern Korea and Japan. It grows on exposed rocky places. This explains its tolerance to both extreme summer and winter temperatures. Eastern Asia experienced wet summers and dry winters. And hence it is a summer grower. So far, it has given me many new fronds. It has also went through a couple of missed watering as it was placed at less frequent corner. These unintentional drought regime would have killed most ferns.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
The species epithlet suggests it comes from the island of Socotra off the Arabian Peninsular. The write-up from New or noteworthy species from Socotra and Abd al Kuri (Part of the Hooker's Icones Plantarum) recorded that it is found on the limestone plateau above 460m, being fairly abundant and in open patch amongst Croton thickets. Despite its hill habitat, it takes kindly to our warm lowland conditions and some exposure to tropical rain.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Sempervivum? No, Sempervivum is not found beyond Asia minor and the Caucasus. Other genera of crassulaceae from Japan are Orostachys, Sedum i think this is an Orostachys. This compact rosetted succulent was found growing on rocks near the sea at Utoro, Hokkaido, Japan. Orostachys are biennials - they die after flowering in the 2nd year. The intense red and extreme clustering of leaves in the top photo is an indicative sign of emerging stem inflorescence in autumn. There are few accompanying plants in the harsh rocky habitat besides Phedimus kamtschaticus (Sedum aizoon ssp kamtschaticum), Artemisia sp and some annual members of the compositae. I can imagine the succulent rosette of leaves buried under at less a foot of snow! Based on internet photos and description from Flora of China, i think it is O. japonica. It is a widespread species from Eastern China extending to Japan, Korea and Russia.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Phedimus kamtschaticus (Fischer) ’t Hart in ’t Hart & Eggli,
Evol. & Syst. Crassulac. 168. 1995.
堪察加费菜 kan cha jia fei cai
Sedum kamtschaticum Fischer & C. A. Meyer, Index Sem. Hort. Petrop. 7: 54. 1840;
Aizopsis kamtschatica (Fischer) Grulich; Sedum aizoon Linnaeus subsp. kamtschaticum (Fischer) Fröderström.
Herbs perennial. Rootstock branched, thickened, woody. Stems mostly simple, ascending, 15–40 cm, sometimes papillate. Leaves alternate or opposite, rarely 3-verticillate; leaf blade oblanceolate, spatulate, or obovate, 2.5–7 × 0.5–3 cm, base narrowly cuneate, margin apically
sparsely serrate to crenate, apex obtuse-rounded. Inflorescence terminal. Flowers unequally 5-merous. Sepals lanceolate, 3–4 mm, base broad, apex obtuse. Petals yellow, lanceolate, 6–8 mm, abaxially keeled, apex acuminate and mucronate. Stamens 10, slightly shorter than petals; anthers orange. Nectar scales subquadrangular, minute. Carpels erect, equaling or slightly shorter than petals, adaxially gibbous, base connate for ca. 2 mm. Follicles stellately
horizontal. Seeds brown, obovoid, minute. Fl. Jun–Jul, fr. Aug–Sep.
Rocky slopes; 600–1800 m. Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol [Japan,
Sunday, July 06, 2008
According to Seidenfaden, there are 3 species - H. medusae from northern Sumatra, H. myriotricha from Thailand/Laos & H. beccarii from Sulawesi. H. medusae and H. myriotricha are almost identical while H. beccarii has broader and shorter fringes on the side lobes. Knowing that my plant originated from Thailand i'm sticking to H. myriotricha. The inflorescences is erect and measured 40-50 cm tall from ground. Each flower is about 3 cm across, with long graceful thin fringes on the sidelobes and a long spur.
Again this is a deciduous terrestial from monsoonal belt - Indochina, northern Sumatra, Sulawesi with a very distinct dry/wet season. When the plant is growing, water generously and feed it with dilute fertilizer regularly to promote strong growth and flowers. After flowering, once leaves start to yellow reduce watering as the plant prepares for dormancy by withdrawing starch from the leaves and stem to form the tuber. Slowly, water less and less. Once the tuber is fully form, it can be kept dry for about 3-4 mths.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Four or five years ago this guy in my neighbourhood gave me a fistful of pseudobulbs from his sad rotting clump. It thrives under general succulent care ie. if the plant is in leaf i water, else i don't. Over the course of 2 years, the pseudobulbs spread to fill two 12 inch pots. Typically, it stays dormant for about 4-5 mths. Only recently did it flower under severely underpotted condition. There appears to be 2 color forms (light green and brown) in the clumps.
Monday, June 30, 2008
This is the write-up from http://www.efloras.org/.
Kalanchoe garambiensis Kudo 台南伽蓝菜
Description from Flora of China
Herbs 5-8 cm tall, glabrous. Root stout, sometimes branched. Leaves petiolate; leaf blade spatulate, 1-1.8 × 0.3-0.7 cm, base tapered, margin entire, apex obtuse to shortly acute. Inflorescences laxly
corymbiform, cymose, 3-10-flowered. Sepals ovate-oblong, ca. 5 mm, glandular, apex acute. Corolla yellow; tube slender, ca. 2 cm, base urceolate; lobes broadly ovate, apex obtuse, subconcave, or acute. Fl. Apr, fr. Aug.
This species could be regarded as a very depauperate form of Kalanchoe integra. See J. Jap. Bot. 78: 252. 2003: Kalanchoe spathulata var. garambiensis (Kudo) H. Ohba.
* Among rocks. S Taiwan.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
A local succulent enthusiast purchased this plant from San Francisco. This is America's equivalent of 3 pots for S$10 sale offer at a small nursery. It proves to be a very adaptable and vigorous Echeveria. It offsets readily (above photo)and the bracts on the offset drops most readily. These bracts will take root almost immediately to give new plants (photo below: note another mini plantlet is already growing from a leaf bract bottom right).
The color varies a lot. If grown in shade, the purplish tint is less intense. Under the same condition of light and soil, young plants are also less intensely colored. Unlike other Echeverias, this species can tolerate shade and does not etiolate or become "leggy". I decided this is probably E. carnicolor or a hybrid of possibly Echeveria `Lavender Hill` which is E. carnicolor x E. atropurperea. Both species come from lowland coastal state of Veracruz, Mexico. No wonder it can survive in Singapore!
Take a look at a very extensive photo album of Cok & Ine Grootscholten. I should n't have gave this nursery a miss when i was in Netherlands. A great regret till this day.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Having found a rosette forming member of the crassulaceae family triggers in me a desire to get other Echeverias that may have a good chance of surviving. My shortlist of potential low growing species: E. atropurpurea, E. carnicolor, , E. diffractens, E. nuda, E. racemosa. And if you have any of these species, please contact me!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
This very small dainty stapeliad was purchased from the famous Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Thailand. It is a strongly branching plant with forms a small mound or mat over time. I was trying to put an identification to it for some time. At first i thought it was C. greenbergiana then C. foulcheri-delboscii and also possibly C. shadhbana or it could be C. hexagona as well. Yes, i was nearly right. The taxonomist as least according to the chapter Caralluma by B. Muller & Albers in Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants - Asclepiadaceae has reduced all the difficult to spell species epithets to something easy to remember C. hexagona. Let's keep our fingers crossed... you never know when somebody might do some splits or revisions or unearth some earlier published species name than will take precedence according to International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
This is widely distributed species from the Arabian peninsular (Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman). Since it is probably more adaptable given its habitat range that may explain why my clone is heat tolerant. A general rule of thumb is to propagate it during the vegetative phase; it can sometimes collapse without a good reason, remnant branches can prove difficult to root.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Over the last couple of years, i come to realized that stapeliads are not so difficult to keep if they can tolerate heat in the high 30Cs. Should they look limp and a bit desiccated after their peak growth or flowering season... let them be. They just need a dry rest with a bit of water just to keep them from unrecoverable desiccation. During this period, look out signs of deadly pest like spider mites. Spider mites can easily reduced plants to sad resting state look! When new growth starts, water & fertilize. And if it is a tempermental species take cuttings and keep an extra pot!
Monday, May 19, 2008
We were trying to find a short cut to the bank of the Irrawaddy river at Mandalay, Myanmar. On the map it seemed easy enough to cross several blocks and we will get there. Actually, it was easy enough... but we were not prepared for the reality. It cuts through a very poor part of town, full of shacks assembled from any materials that the dwellers can lay their hands on. On top of that... there's no river view! We were greeted with an earthen great wall - a levee that was about 10 m above the shanty town! As i was scaling the dusty loose earth i couldn't help imagining a raging river laden with flood waters during the wet monsoon threatening to breach the levee and wipe out the shanty district. Walking on top of the levee i saw some bamboo dwellings build on bamboo rafts with various buoys on the swallows of a drying river. Some 20 m away i spotted a very distinctively sliver white pricky plant (above) facing the drying river. It had beautiful bright yellow poppy-like flower. My instinct was to look for seed pods but it was a young plant with the first flowers. Its existence would be ephemeral given its loose footing on a levee. Sad thoughts aside..would you agree that this plant should deserve a place in a dry garden:
After some research, it is a well-known weed Argemone ochroleuca from Mexico and had a string of common names like Mexican poppy, pricky-thistle and so forth and has naturalized to most of the seasonally dry areas of the world. Despite its weedy status, i was looking forward to grow this plant but getting this weed proved elusive. Today with luck, i am given a handful of seeds thanks to my friend who had just visited a semi-desert area in India. Okay, luck was secondary, i actually prep my friend with a list of what to look out for when he's there!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
It did not turned out to be C. somalica as labelled but C. speciosa. The perfectly symmetrical ball of inflorescence about 10 cm across is very impressive. Well, the foetid rotten flesh odor will get your attention within a couple of meters. The smell attracts big carrion flies. It took me many tries to get a decent picture - the corona has bright luminescent quality and contrast poorly with the yellow corolla tube; either the corona is overexposed or the dark maroon corolla lobes are underexposed.
This is one of the big clumping Caralluma found in tropical East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda & Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, probably also in Djibouti or Eritrea) on dry rocky savanna or semi-desert lowland habitat. C. speciosa and other like C. adenensis, C. somalica, C. acutangula (C. retrospiciens) and C. edithae are similar species that can be "grouped" together. Now, am awaiting another big clumping Caralluma sp. purchased from Bangkok to flower.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
The flowers are borne on leafless stems; velvety, and creamy-white 8 to 10 millimeters in diameter. The umbel is geotropic (facing down) and that makes it challenging to photograph. See if you can spot the copper wire that was use to right it up to face the light. This was a 2-leaf cutting gift that my friend brought back from the famous Bangkok's Chatuchak Market. Back then, it was a rare hoya.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
This post and the last few posts cover my Oeceoclades collection. If someone is going to order an Oeceoclades petiolata from ISI 2008 offering contact me!
*The Genus Oeceoclades by L. Garay & P. Taylor in Botanical Museum Leaflets Harvard University, Vol. 24, No. 9.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
The flowers are small, odourless and insignificant. My self pollination attempt was a failure. Given it's locality up in the northern most tip of Madagascar, reckon it should in theory get more rain and therefore can tolerate more water. At this point with only 1 pot, i'm in no hurry to push it for faster growth.
Monday, April 07, 2008
As i was able to successfully nurse from 2 to 4 pseudobulbs it has paid back my small investment. Cultivation is not different from the other oeceoclades. Need to dry out between watering. Potting in very coarse free-draining inorganic mix of rocks, lime or charcoal ... basically any coarse filler material, and filling interstitial space with finer sand or humus.
** Contribution à l'étude des Orchidaceae de Madagascar et des Mascareignes. XXXI. Espèces et combinaisons nouvelles dans les genres Oeceoclades, Eulophia et Eulophiella. J. Bosser & P. Morat. Adansonia, Sér. 3 2001. 23(1): 7-22.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
The amazing find from websearch yields a mini-picture of a herbarium sheet of Eulophidium ambongense
Holotype of Eulophidium ambongense Schltr. Verified by Perrier de la Bâthie, H., 1950
From: West, sandy forest/wood. [Ouest: bois sablonneux], Manongarivo (Ambongo)
The wealth of online material has just help eliminate the O. ambongense possibility. I just have to wait for flowers to confirm if it is O. decaryana or O. aff*. decaryana! [*decaryana has distinctively 5-angular pseudobulbs]
It is definitely a slow grower. Enjoys drying out between watering. Onion-like 1-1.5" succulent pseudobulbs helps it tide-over long drought much better than fellow madagascan euphorbias! In fact, a distinct period of drought triggers formation of new buds for next season's growth.