View Full Version : Leperous Ant Plant!
09-01-2010, 07:37 PM
Check out this monster I picked up at the local orchid shop today
No way man, it's just not gonna fit!
Look at that multiheaded caudex
Now here's the blooms which emerge from these leperous lesions which form along the stem! :D
Upclose. The blooms are four cornered, sealed and tubular. They are self fertile creating orange berries with a few seed in each. I have half a dozen blooms so will be able to get to propagating these from seed soon.
Here is the tragic remains of my Hydnophytum simplex, poor guy got attacked by a caterpillar on the patio but it's coming back. Any possible seed/seedlings from this little guy is a few years off yet.
09-01-2010, 07:43 PM
Very neat plants :)
09-01-2010, 09:02 PM
09-01-2010, 09:24 PM
Yeah, "beautiful" just doesn't describe it does it? :-))
I'd never seen this species before and I love these rotten flesh looking holes in them that bloom this weird fungi shaped little flower and make bright orange berries. One plant at the shop had a berry ready to pick but this was the biggest one with the most blooms currently on it, I can wait a few weeks for berries. I gotta wash the leaves off with lemon juice, Jerry loves his fertilizer...
09-02-2010, 12:54 PM
I guess it's been longer than I remember since having a mature ant plant, I have some orange berries swelling up today! I didn't remember they were so fast.
09-02-2010, 01:30 PM
Wow, that thing is delightfully weird. I must have one!
Are they hard to care for? I mean, compared to your typical CP of course, LOL.
09-02-2010, 01:34 PM
Got some pics of the berries now:
Upclose with the camera I am able to see the makings of about 8 berries just in these two lesions... gross! :D
Not sure how many seeds will be in each berry, IIRC my old Hydnophytum formicarum had 3 or 4 seeds per berry. But that species bloomed just at the growing tip
09-02-2010, 01:39 PM
So if left where ants had access, they would have mutual relationship or home themselves in it?
Awesome specimen BTW.
09-02-2010, 01:43 PM
I suppose they would use these openings where the blooms are emerging from to get into the plant. The caudex on older Hydnophytums creates smooth circular channels into itself. The basic idea is the ants would move in and leave their waste inside the channels thereby fertilizing the plant. The relationship is not co-dependent because young ant plants do not generally have holes, the H. simplex is about 2" in diameter and it has no holes.
They are pretty easy, like LFS & orchid bark, high humidity is a plus but they will harden off to room humidity if kept watered, as you can see they do get huge and don't take all that long to get that way if they are treated well. Basically if you can grow Neps and orchids you can do ant plants they all appreciate the same sort of care.
09-04-2010, 05:48 AM
While watering today I found an old berry that had withered like a grape and pulled back into one of the openings so I used my feeding tongs to tease it out. There were these 5 tiny banana pepper shaped seeds.
Supposedly they won't germinate if the seeds dry out, I sowed them on some live sphagnum right away after squeezing from the berry and misting the pulp off, so see we'll see how it goes.
That is awesome!!!!
Well that, and the fact you have a local orchid shop.
09-06-2010, 05:52 PM
The first 4 seeds have all started germination on LFS
I squeezed one seed out to see if there was an embryo in them so the 5th was sacrificed. Plenty more berries though (currently 4). I think i will make up a 6 quart shoebox tray to be a progressive planter planting the seeds in rows and as the oldest seedlings get worthy of being potted on I can post them up for trades if anyones interested in them.
09-08-2010, 06:45 AM
I was in Zurich last week, so obviously I visited the local botanical garden...
Not many carnivorous plants, but I did notice this ant plant (inside the tropical house). No idea which ant plant it is, though.
09-08-2010, 09:08 AM
Don't you just love the satisfaction of growing the plant, and then planting the seeds from it, going full circle. Great post, keep updating pics of the seedlings please!!
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