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Thread: New carnivorous plant genus?

  1. #1

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    This post is part of an April Fools joke. There is no new carnivorous plant. Don't laugh too hard, you would have fell for it too if it wasn't for this disclaimer.


    Hey Folks,

    Well I've got some extremely interesting news. Now, before I spill the beans on this I want to emphasize that nothing has been proven (or disproved!) yet, but I have to say that so far this is very interesting.

    Several weeks ago I was contacted by the project leader for botanical assessments from the team of scientists that were exploring the "Lost World" area of New Guinea. She wanted to know about carnivory in the Pedaliaceae. I told her that the only plant in this family even remotely considered being carnivorous is Ibicella lutea, which until relatively recently was considered to be in the family Martyniaceae. We discussed the matter in several emails (and one rather expensive phonecall!) until she finally came clean with me that they have discovered what appears to be a remarkable and novel form of carnivory, apparently in an as-yet-undescribed genus.

    What makes this so interesting (for me, at least) is that while the plants (apparently) use mucilage to digest the prey, the mucus on the leaves is not used to retain prey. Instead, the plant is covered with many short silicaceous hairs that are extremely minutely barbed. This is not a flypaper plant so much as a pincushion plant! It's not clear if this plant preferentially preys upon soft-bodied organisms or what.

    ALSO, remember that until radio-isotope studies are carried out on this plant, it will not be known if nutrients are actually translocated into the plant. However, in terms of the carnivorous syndrome, this plant demonstrates aspects of "Attracting", "Retaining", "Killing", and almost certainly "Digesting". Absorption? Well, the leaf surface looks like it may be glossy (suggesting a thick waxy cuticle), but the leaf is supposedly more permeable near the leaf mid-rib on the upper surface. Maybe fluids are absorbed there?

    Dr. Sanchez also told me that this plant is commonly associated with disturbed habitats (animal trails, etc.). It produces many burr-like seeds so probably uses animals as a dispersal mechanism. All this suggests that, like many trailside plants, it would probably be very easy to grow. Unfortunately, because of the possible pending status of the site (I think it might be designated a globally-important bioreserve) seeds are not likely to be available anytime soon.

    A couple of other quick notes from my conversations.
    1)No news of leaf motion.
    2)No observations of flowers, just fruit.
    3)Expect to see publication of the new name in a journal like TAXON. Dr. Sanchez doesn't mind the photos being released because her team is the only group of people with specimens for herbarium specimens! So she can't get "scooped" so doesn't mind the news going around.

    I'll keep everyone posted as much as I can. Unfortunately, I'm travelling right now, and will be spending 2-9 April in Texas (I'll be hooking up with Mike Howlett for some field trips!).

    Talk to you later!

    Barry

    P.S. I will attempt to add a photo to this post, but I haven't done this before so I don't know if I'll do it correctly.





    Carnivorous Plant Newsletter
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  2. #2

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    Close but no Cigar! Its a little big! Just the same, when you get one, I would like to see it!
    45 yrs. growin\'
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  3. #3
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Cool! That's some exciting news! We'd appreciate it greatly if you'd keep us updated. Cool to see something like this in the workings, and a pretty interesting plant, to boot!
    \(_o)/ ಠ_ಠ
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  4. #4
    rattler's Avatar
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    very cool but it better have an outstanding flower before i devote grow space to it. looks homelier than a Ping
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

  5. #5
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Wow...that's some very interesting news! It would be awsome if it turned out to be truly carnivorous. It sure is a "hairy" lil' bugger...but then again so are the "wooly" 'dews.

    Thanks for sharing the info and keep us updated!

    Awww...Rattler...Pings aren't homely!



    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

  6. #6
    rattler's Avatar
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    lol no they arent but thats the best comparison i could come up with of the top of my head.........i like my pings..............that thing however...............well it needs a good flower i get enough crap about there being nothing in my pots of moss but growing something that looks like that and doesnt move or do anything cool? i would never live it down. ppl think im strange enough as is. ive seen prettier weeds out in a wheat field
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

  7. #7
    rattler's Avatar
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    it is an interesting discovery though..................dont mind the rude comments, im attempting to ease myself off of Vicoden and its not working to well, especially when its FREAKING raining and i cant go blow stuff up with pieces of lead and copper at Mach 2 and 3
    cervid serial killer
    Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety
    I didn't get stimulated but he kept his promise on change, that's about all I got left!
    http://www.wolfpointherald.com/--http://www.safety-brite.net/

  8. #8

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    look cool, to me is a drosera! , jk, but it look like a drosera!, i hope we discover plants sometime, or create ones....kinda interesting huh!

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