Hey everyone. I was able to finally grow Ibicella this season. I have tried growing it since 2009, but never got established plants (most likely due to using old seed leading to very low germination rates).
Although I got plants to grow, set fruit, and produce seed this year, I was not as successful as I wanted to be. My experience was no where near the success of my growing Proboscidea. Again, though, I am inclined to believe it was due to using old seed to begin with in combination with heavy caterpillar damage late in the season.
I did take lots of pictures and want to share them with you.
I used the same pre-sow treatment on the seed as I do with my Proboscidea seed. I removed half the seed coat of every seed and soaked them in a warm bath for 24 to 48 hours.
I sowed in small pots and kept them very warm. Germination began in a little over two weeks after sowing.
A couple days after germination I moved the seedlings directly into the ground to give them ample room to develop their roots. They were placed in the sunniest location in my yard where I grow my Proboscidea.
True leaves began to grow a couple weeks after germination. I began to notice the Ibicella plants were very slow growing in comparison to the Proboscidea plants that germinated around the same time.
Here is a plant in July. I caged it to prevent bird damage.
Finally, towards late July the terminal flower stock began to show itself.
I got very sticky and smelly blooms shortly thereafter.
Hand pollination was successful and the plants began to grow small fruits in early August.
As the inflorescence got taller, two lateral buds began to grow and the plants started to branch just like in Proboscidea.
Eventually, those lateral meristems produced their own terminal flower stalks around late August/early September.
During September the plants received heavy caterpillar damage. I knew the caterpillars ate a lot of the young, tender fruit, but I did not figure out something critical was happening until it was too late. In late September, I found tiny caterpillars hanging out in the nooks and crannies of the flower bud cluster (almost at the apex). They had eaten their way into the flower buds and caused just enough damage to prevent the majority of flowers from setting fruit. I still got a lot of blooms, but most of them were chewed through, especially in the ovary area.
In the end, only a handful of fruit made it through alive.
You can see a hole where one of those little demons tried to chew through. I caught him in the act, though and swiftly took care of it.
In this one, you can see damage to one of the plant's leaves.
In the end I was able to walk away with a handful of fruits and more than enough seed for another go at it next season!
Here are two beginning to dehisce. The pods are much darker than Proboscidea and very interesting as they have small spines all over the surface.
Here is one of my biggest pods with all the seed removed.
Look at those spikes!
Finally, here are some pictures I took for comparison between the pods of Ibicella and Proboscidea. The Ibicella pod is the smaller, darker, and spikier one.
Close-up side view:
Ventral view (from above):
Dorsal view (from below):