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Thread: Red sphagnum - really strange and/or interesting

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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    Red sphagnum - really strange and/or interesting

    Same highland mountain species, same light intensity - different red pattern




    Same bog species, same light intensity - different amount of red


    Cindy

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    hcarlton's Avatar
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    This seems to happen a lot with sphagnum, actually. I have pots that are supposedly all the same species, but some will turn solid red, others stay green, and some are a mosaic of colors. Could be something in the water or underlying soil instead of light, any opinions on this?
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    DavidA's Avatar
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    There is a pic of some dark, blood red sphagnum in Fernando Rivadavia's thread about the D. villosa complex.



    I would like to see if I can make some of my own that color. I should be getting a culture pretty soon, if I can get some red some red sprigs in it, I will try to see if I can transplant a lot of them into another bucket and try to "breed" some red sphag (not sure if moss works like that though).

    Off topic, but how well do your VFT's fair in the live sphagnum? I would have swore the sphagnum would have overgrown the VFT during it's dormancy.

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    The redness is often a function of pH. The pH can be affected by available nutrients.

    http://homepage.univie.ac.at/eva.temsch/basics.html
    Try an Experiment
    (1) If you have access to non-protected red peat moss, collect a few plants, and dry them.
    (2) Submerge them in an alkaline solution (e.g., baking soda, dissolved in lukewarm water). The red color should fade. Depending on the original shade of red and on the strength of the base, the red color will change to pink, green, a bluish purple or even black.
    (3) Rinse the plants briefly in water.
    (4) Submerge them in an acidic solution (e.g., lemon juice or white vinegar). The original red color should reappear.

    The pigment "sphagnorubin", a flavonoid contained in red peat moss, is a chemical indicator of acidity.
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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    The first two pics
    - the moss is in the same container so the pH should be identical

    The 3rd pic
    - the moss is growing from the first layer i.e. the top inch of moss from another container was laid flat for regeneration

    The 4th pic
    - the moss is regrowth after the top inch has been removed; interestingly, the regrowth is very compact and most is red

    I have not been able to get 100% red from the moss I am growing. If it is due to pH, then it would be because I am using sphagnum moss as the base instead of peat. Hmm...I'll try the chemical reactions and update again.

    Both green and red moss forms are only faster than the young VFTs. During dormancy, the adult plants are removed and placed in the fridge since my climate is hot and humid year round.
    Cindy

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    There are no doubt many other factors such as temperature and quality of light. I have one species that only shows a trace of red usually in the winter. Another seems to turn red on whim. Another stays green in the propagation tray (peat moss substrate) but if I use it as media or topping on top of LFS it turns mostly red. These usually turn green after I foliar feed the plants in them and some of the fertilizer gets in the substrate. The moss will eventually turn red again - usually. The Chilean stuff I get growing out of LFS starts out reddish and turns greenish unless it gets high levels of light. And I have a couple species that never show the slightest trace of red in any of my conditions. Fickle. Best I can make out is that there is a "sweet" spot in environmental conditions that many of the red species like. Stray outside those parameters and it turns green.
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    I love me some good red sphagnum. In Alaska I have found intense orange sphagnum as well as miniature grey sphagnum!
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=124586

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