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Thread: P. parviflora journal.

  1. #9
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    5/6/08- Two more plants have germinated (#3 and #4)! I came home and found that a seedling had popped up in a small pot and that another pot had one just breaking the surface. Joy!!
    Plant #1 is doing great. However, #2 seems to have weird or damaged leaves. As of now it has its first set of leaves with the second two coming up, but the first pair are bent and twisted. I'll keep an eye on it... I will try to take pictures soon, but since I don't have a digital camera and have finals coming up, it will probably be a while before I post some.

    5/9/08- I donít know if I mentioned this above, but plant #1 was initially in a small 2in seedling pot. Today I looked at the drain holes of the pot to check for roots (I was expecting them). I did find a tiny root starting to make its way out of one of the drain holes. So, I decided to move plant #1 into a bigger pot to accommodate for further growth. At this point I am thinking about what would be the best time to move the plants into the ground in my garden, but since #1 is still small (about 2-3in tall) I decided just to upgrade its pot.

    I used some good old garden soil and filled up the new 4in pot. I made an indentation in the soil roughly the same size as the #1ís 2in pot.

    Now came time for the repot. I took #1ís small pot and began to squeeze the pot as I rotated it in my hands in order to easily remove the lump of soil with the plant inside (allowing for minimal stress to the plant). I flipped it over and expected the lump + plant to slide out easily, however they did not. Instead, practically the entire thing fell apart, exposing the root mass! There was so much perlite in the growing media, the mass had to fall apart. It didnít hold together like plants you get from the store that are growing in pure soil. I think if I would have used less perlite and more soil this wouldnít have occurred. A note for my next batch of 20 seeds that I will be germinating in a couple of weeks.

    Anyway, I was surprised to see that a bunch of roots were already pressing down against the base of the pot. Obviously, they werenít visible from the drain holes, or else I would have repotted days earlier. So, I guess like most plants, the root system first develops extensively, and then later the plant shows significant growth. Because of all the roots, some of the soil and perlite stayed intact. Once the mass began to fall apart, I immediately inserted it into the indentation I had made in the soil of the new pot. I added some more top soil and watered.

    Now I wait to see if the plant will show signs of stress from this less than ideal repot. Oh yeah, you might be wondering about #2. Well, it germinated in one of the bigger pots so no worries. Maybe Iíll just place #2 directly in the ground sometime later. It's first leaves are still twisted, but the second two are doing fine.

    5/11/08- Happy Motherís Day! After I came back from dinner with the family, I checked up on #1. Two days have passed since the repot and itís doing quite well. The leaves are looking great. The second two leaves are now as big as the first two. So far, so good.
    Total Germination Tally: 4

    I am looking forward to this week:
    Last edited by joossa; 05-12-2008 at 09:20 AM. Reason: Update: 5/12/08
    -Joel from Southern California


  2. #10
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    5/16/08- Some pictures:

    #1:


    #2:


    Full sun table. Seedlings 1-4 are labeled. You can see the large pots I am using on the right (in the red tub) and the small, seedling pots on the lower left (in the rubber-maid tub). Also, you can see the empty seedling pot where #1 germinated and his current location in the bigger pot (see label):


    5/19/08- Both plants 1 and 2 are doing great. They have gotten much taller and seem to love (unlike me) the heat wave we are having here in Southern California. Their third set of leaves are now visible. I will be moving these into the ground in an area in my back yard that I began preparing since last winter.

    It was back in early December of '07 that I choose that bare area in my back yard. It gets full sun. Back in December, I had collected a bunch of leaves that had fallen off the trees that autumn. I dug a large hole in the area and threw the leaves inside, then I covered it up with soil. Ever since, I have regularly added water, fertilizer, peat, and lots of perlite. The leaves composted nicely and the soil looks fertile and perfect for the devil's claws. I will be moving plant 1 and 2 in this area soon.

    Plant #4 has kicked off well, but #3 is having trouble shedding the thin endo-seed coat, so its first leaves have not opened.

    Lastly, yesterday afternoon I decided to start my second (and last) batch of seed. A total of 21 seeds. I will be using the same treatments I described above and will be sowing them tomorrow afternoon as they are already soaking in water. Because of the heat wave we are having, I placed the small tub of water + soaking seed outside so they can experience the 100F+ ambient temperature that my area is experiencing. I didn't place the small water tub in direct sun, though; I left it on a table under my gazebo in full shade. I will also not be using perlite in their growing media. Instead, I will be using potting soil straight from the bag. Let's see how it goes.

    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by joossa; 05-19-2008 at 06:05 PM. Reason: Edited 5/19 6:04PM
    -Joel from Southern California


  3. #11
    larry's Avatar
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    These plants seem indestructible, definitely can withstand full blazing sun. Plant them in the ground if possible and give them plenty of water and fertilizer.
    larry
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigflytrap/
    Save a tree, legalize cannabis.
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  4. #12
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    5/20/08- Bad news... #3 has gone to plant heaven. I don't know why it died. I came home and found that it had wilted and shriveled up, the soil was moist though. It never managed to shed the endo-seed coat. Maybe that had something to do with it.

    Well, I decided to move plants 1, 2, and 4 into the ground where they will grow until winter comes. I tilled the top soil in the area I described in my previous post, and I added some pellet fertilizer. I placed the three plants in the ground leaving about 2-3 feet between them. As I removed them from their pots, I noticed that the older ones (#1 and #2) had roots already pushing down against the base of their respective pots. Since #4 is still young I did not notice any roots. Boy do their roots grow fast.

    After moving them into the ground, I prepared popsicle sticks to use them as identifiers for each plant. I used pencil and worte down the plant's number and the date they germinated. I then placed each popsicle stick marker into the soil about 3-4 inches away from their respective plant.

    Lastly, I took the second batch of seeds inside and cut the outer seed coat as described in the first post of this topic. I ran out of time and couldn't sow, so I left the cut seeds in a small container with fresh reverse osmosis water. Sowing will commence tomorrow.

    5/21/08- Another seed has broken the soil and has germinated! This one is #5.

    The three plants that are in the ground are doing well. I will now try to water these less frequently, while still maintaining the soil moist.

    I sowed the second batch of seed in potting soil straight from the bag. No perlite added. Again, I used different types of pots: small 2in pots and larger pots (nothing bigger than 4in). They were placed at a depth of about 0.5 to 0.75 inches into the soil. I placed them on the full sun table and watered the pots.

    5/22/08- Weather for my plants has turned for the worst. Rain today! We were at 100F+ two days ago and now we are at 65F. It rained early this morning and stray showers are expected throughout today and into tonight. We are not expected to pass the 80F mark again until next week. Hopefully this dip in temps won't hinder the second batch of seeds. The good news is that lows won't go below 45F. I'll still leave all the pots out, but just skip watering today.

    Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone!

    Germination Tally: 5
    Plants that have died: 1
    Plants Alive: 4
    -Joel from Southern California


  5. #13
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    5/25/08- Well, the mini-cold snap and rain seem to be over. The temps did drop down below 45F. I had had to bring all the pots inside during the nights since my last post because overnight lows were a bit on the low side. However, I could not do anything for the plants that were moved to the ground so they had to tough it out. The lowest temperature they experienced was 43F. They also took the rain like it was nobody's business.

    This morning, plant #5 opened it first leaves. To my surprise, this one was different than the others. It has three initial leaves instead of the regular two.

    5/26/08- I moved plant #5 into a bigger pot (4in). I know it's a bit early, but I wanted to move it before its roots got down to its pot's base.

    5/27/08- All pots were left outside overnight. Hopefully, yesterday was the last time I had to bring them in. My cut off line for bringing them in is a low of 45F. #5's triple leaves have fully opened too.

    5/28/08- Recall that plants 1, 2, and 4 are in the ground; 1 and 2 being the oldest. 4 is still young with its second pair of leaves barely emerging. 1 and 2 are now looking more mature. They have their fourth pair of leaves coming in. Their overall growth is still slow, though. Hopefully they are still working on their root system and will show a growth explosion (as I have read) soon.
    There are also some characteristics that show how 1 and 2 have matured a bit. First, both of their stems have become woody, thicker, and hard. They are no longer as flexible as they once were. Both plants have become much more fuzzier like some species of Drosera. I am not aware of a scientific name for these tiny hairs; if anyone knows, please drop a response below (of not, I'll do some research later). Next, 1 and 2 are now showing bigger apical meristems. For those of you that don't know, apical meristems are found at the tip of roots and shoots of plants. At the shoot, they are sometimes called growth points and contain the tiny, immature leaf clusters of the plants. They contain basic similar cells that rapidly divide and mature into specific parts of the plant and allow for overall growth. On my plants, the meristems have become quite bulgy. Lastly, the initial two leaves of these two plants are now turning yellow and dying off. I see now that the initial leaves are quite different from the older leaves. The older leaves have the heart shape, which is a characteristic of this plant, while the first leaves were round and curved. Dicot, anyone?
    I am now watering them lightly whenever the topsoil becomes dry. These plants also bend a bit and follow the sun, as it moves across the sky.

    Maybe I am going into too much detail? LOL. I hope some of you are finding my posts helpful… I can't wait to see some flowers on these guys.

    Oh yeah, one last thing before I forget. I found a great plant to grow along side my devil's claws. They are Datura wrightii, AKA the devil's trumpet plant or the spiny apple plant or jimsonweed. These plants are native to my area and the rest of Mojave among other parts. They grow well in conditions that devil's claws like and are essentially a weed. They flower at night and moths pollinate. Flowers die off in the daylight. These plants are considered toxic and hallucinogenic to humans. I found two possible seedlings in the rear of my yard while I was cleaning up. I am not too sure of the ID yet as they are still quite young, but I am seeing individual plants in the hills near my home that have the signature "moon flowers". Seed probably flew in via the strong desert winds and must have germinated not that long ago. Anyway, I fertilized the soil around the two seedlings and am now watering them. I'll make a note in the future if they do turn out to be devil's trumpet plants.

    Thanks for reading.



    Small Addition/Edit (June 2, 2008 4:05PM):

    6/2/08- Not much to report so I'm making this entry as an edit to this post. I am happy to report that plant #2 now has a flower bud! It became apparent a couple days ago (on May 31), and now it's pretty big. Hopefully it will bloom soon. Both #1 and #2 are growing their third set of true leaves now.

    Lastly, here is a link to the pellet fertilizer I am using for the plants.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by joossa; 06-04-2008 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Addtion on June 2, 2008 4:05PM
    -Joel from Southern California


  6. #14
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    6/3/08- Some more good news: #1 now has a flower bud. #2 has not bloomed yet. The flower buds are coming up sooner than I expected. These two plants are still only about 4-5 inches tall. So, the earliest flower bud appearing for my record is 45 days.
    Today, I saw that #5 is now developing its first set of true leaves. This one had three initial embryonic leaves instead of the regular two, and it seems that the plant will be following this pattern as it is now putting out a set of three true leaves. I have yet to observe germination from the rest of the seed from first batch or from the second batch.

    6/4/08- Today, I decided to move plant #5 into the ground next to my other three. I am leaving about 2-3 feet between them. Hopefully, this will be enough space for them to grow comfortably in the future. In addition, I also added a thin layer (no more than .75in) of some humus over what I am now calling the devil’s claw patch. It smelled really good, fresh, and organic! I covered mostly the entire patch and finally applied some water.
    I should also note that while moving #5 out from its pot, I saw that its roots had reached the bottom of the pot, just like the other previous plants. These grow their roots very rapidly and I wouldn’t be surprised if they would outgrow those large gallon+ sized pots as adults. It’s probably slightly problematic to grow these plants in pots for the entire life cycle.

    Since I have too much time on my hands, I’m going to give some additional information on the Proboscidea variety that I am growing. According to Raul Gutierrez of Arizona State University, there are two varieties of Proboscidea parviflora: var. hohokamiana and var. parviflora. I am growing P. parviflora var. hohokamiana. The plant identification guide that I have in my possession states that the two varieties are very similar except for a couple key features.
    The ID guide mentions that the obvious difference is the seed color. The hohokamiana variety has white seed while the parviflora variety has black seed. In addition to that, it stated that var. hohokamiana is lengthier in the following features: anthers, style, fruit body, fruit crests, and rostrum.
    While both varieties are used in Native American basket weaving, the hohokamiana variety is domesticated and more commonly used because it is easier to grow (seed germination) and has more desirable features, like longer and more flexible claws. The plant is used in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of California.
    The fruit is also used as food. According to the USDA and the NRCS, “the Papago used the young pods as food, while the Pima cracked the seeds between the teeth and ate them like pine-nuts.”
    I have also found some additional growing tips in terms of watering. The plant guide from the USDA mentioned to keep seed slightly moist and not too wet when attempting to grow. “After the seedlings have appeared, allow the surface of the soil to dry between waterings.” It goes on to mention that mimicking the Arizona summer rains is best and to stop watering the plants once seedpods begin to ripen. I am not too sure about this last statement. It is supposedly difficult to extract seed from the pod as the pod itself is hard and very woody, and therefore difficult to open.

    And there it is. Here is a list of my sources if any of you want to do some further reading:

    -USDA's Plant Profile for P. parviflora
    -USDA/NRCS Plant Guide for P. parviflora (pdf)
    -Dave's Garden: See growers tips below and pictures on the right.
    -Gutierrez, Raul Jr. Vascular Plants of Arizona: Martyniaceae. Canotia: 26-31, 2007. (not online)
    -Wayne's World Devil's Claw Site
    -Parsons, W. T. Noxious Weeds of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, 2nd Ed. 2001: 515-519. (not online)
    -Desert USA Article
    -Joel from Southern California


  7. #15
    allegedhuman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joossa View Post
    It is supposedly difficult to extract seed from the pod as the pod itself is hard and very woody, and therefore difficult to open.
    Hahaha, yeah. May I suggest a pocket knife to help pry open pods and pick out the seeds out from the pod walls? Even once the pod is dry and partially opens it still is hard to open it more to get all the seeds out. In that process the little buggers like to twirl around and jab me in the hand with their claws while I work. Then in addition to the nice claw hook, there are often nice sharp ridges along the sides of the seed pod too so it isn't so easy to get a good grip on the pod to prevent it from twirling around and getting you. I wish you fun times of seed extracting when your plants get bigger and set seed of their own.

    Want some more too? I still have some unclaimed packets you or anyone else is welcome to in the trading forum thread for SASE.

  8. #16
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegedhuman View Post
    Hahaha, yeah. May I suggest a pocket knife to help pry open pods and pick out the seeds out from the pod walls? Even once the pod is dry and partially opens it still is hard to open it more to get all the seeds out. In that process the little buggers like to twirl around and jab me in the hand with their claws while I work. Then in addition to the nice claw hook, there are often nice sharp ridges along the sides of the seed pod too so it isn't so easy to get a good grip on the pod to prevent it from twirling around and getting you. I wish you fun times of seed extracting when your plants get bigger and set seed of their own.
    Wow, sound like tons of fun.... just like wrapping Christmas presents. In all seriousness, I am looking forward to it. Thanks for the tips.


    Quote Originally Posted by allegedhuman View Post
    Want some more too? I still have some unclaimed packets you or anyone else is welcome to in the trading forum thread for SASE.
    Thanks, but I don't want a plantation. I am happy to have even gotten to this point. Having four established plants already is probably more than enough. Again, many thanks for your generosity, Evin!
    -Joel from Southern California


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