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Thread: Wouldnt you like this in a Tropcal green house!

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    nepenthes_ak's Avatar
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    Giant Voodoo Lillie

    I would love to have a Borneo (i think this is native to borneo) Greenhouse full of Lowland Nepenthes sp. , Rafflasia sp. (the giant stinky flowers that are low to the ground that are parasitic plants?), Amorphophallus titanum, and many other tropical Stinkers! It would probably be a tropical stink house!

    Enjoy!

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    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    Oh My GOD!!
    My life sucks

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    Make sure you have your mark 5 gas masks by the greenhouse door!
    Hi. My name is Ron, and I am a nepaholic.

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    swords's Avatar
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    Hey Nep AK, I have a seedling of Amorphophallus titanum but that species is from Sumatra. A very similar species called Amorphophallus hewitii is the one from Borneo. It's just slightly smaller and the bloom looks almost identical (maybe eventually these will be considered subspcies?) but it'll be many years before I've got my blooming titan or hewitii's stinking up my neighborhood!

    Rafflesia are indeed parasitic, their host plant is Tetrastigma genus of tropical grape vines. Rafflesia grow as a mycellium like fungus inside the host plant(think of the mushroom fungi in the soil under the stem and cap) they have no leaves or external appendages. Generally the root system along the soil surface is where the huge Rafflesia flowers will show themselves but some of the smaller of the 18 or so species will pop out on the upper vine portions. If you have a big interest in them there is a FANTASTIC book on the genus Rafflesia called Rafflesia of the World by Jamili Nais it's only available from www.nhpborneo.com. Shipping is pricey but hey, it's education! If you like exciting and exotic plant biology and highly detailed info (and amazing photography) you'll never find another book like it! I'd never sell my copy for any price! Anyway, sadly Rafflesia can not generally be grown ex situ unless you grow the vine first and then infect the vine with the Rafflesia spores. There was one successful experiment outlined in the book performed at a national park in Borneo with Rafflesia keithii which was innoculated into a very old Tetrastigma vine which finally bloomed after some years. But it seems an impredictability as to when or ever the Rafflesia will be strong enough to bloom as other experiments to copy and conserve the species have failed. Did I mention this was an amazing book!? All it did is make me wish I could try it in my little jungle!

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    nepenthes_ak's Avatar
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    swords I envey you!!! My mom was all like hey thats a cool looking flower if we win the lotto, and then I told her it stank, she freaked out and was like NO WAY! Looks like ill have to wait till im older or win my own lotto! Do you have any pictures of youre infamous seedling? Thanks for filling me in on the Rafflesia!

    So is the rafflesia A fungus? Im all about Mycology, but does that make It a Fungus?

    Cheers

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    swords's Avatar
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    I don't believe Rafflesia is actually ID'd as a fungus but a parasite, it just takes the form of a fungal mycelium (which lives inside the Tetrastigma vine). whereas Mistletoe is a parasitic plant of Oak trees but it does looks like a plant with a stem and leaves. You can't tell by looking at it if a Tetrastigm vine has the Rafflesia infection until the large cabbage like buds start to form.

    I can take a pic of the A. hewittii seedling next time the lights are on but my A. titanum is dormant right now. It'll take a number of years before our titanums would create a stinky flower (of any size) so your mom's nose will be safe for at least 5 years! I've had a few aroids which were purported to stink bloom and I don't smell anything unless I stuck my nose right on it.

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    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    I'm sorry Swords,but I have to do it again. I thought mistletoe was a fungus so I asked in my biology II class. Mistletoe is an epiphyte like orchids and not a parisite. Atleast thats occording to my Bio professor. Some people think orchids are parasites, but that is untrue too. I don't know about Rafflesia so I can;t say about that. I would think though that its not a parasitic relationship, but a symbiotic relationship. Does it kill the Tetrastigma vine? Or just live with it? If it kills it then its not giving back, but it it doesn;t kill it then its a symbiotic relationship. A give and take relationship. Because the microriza you talk about , the fungal mycelium, is not paresitic either. It gets the sugars from the root systems of other plants in echange for increasing the surface area for nutrient pickup for the plant its sharing the symbiotic relationship with. Just remember to be parasitic it must not give back, but just consume off the host plant. If it does give back like with the funus normaly giving extra surface area for nutrient pickup, then its a symbiotic relationship and they can live like that forever. Parasitic relationships only last long enough for the host to die then the parisite moves on. Licen are an example of a symbiotic relationship. It has a fungal and algea component. The Algea component does photosynthesis while the fungal part is like the root system persay and the body. They are the only thing in nature that decomposes rock besides the wind wear. Very cool thing.

    The Titanum, once reaching flowering size, bloom one year then put off a vegitative growth the next, and it alternates there after. Atleast thats what I read about "Mr Stinky" at one of the big botanical gardens. Then the bloom only lasts a vew days too with only one or two days being really stinky. Definatly not an indoor plants, even if you did have 12 foot ceilings.
    JB
    Friend me on facebook with JB_orchidguy@yahoo.com.
    Growlist Updated 05/08/13

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    swords's Avatar
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    Hey Josh, no biggie, I had always heard that Mistletoe was not growing epiphytically (as with orchids) but actually drawing it's nourishment from the Oak. But I'll admit I have not researched Mistletoe after hearing this and assumed I could not grow Mistletoe, I'd actually like to!

    Anyway, here's an introductory quote from Rafflesia of the World:

    "The Rafflesiaceae is a plant family that contains about 55 species in eight genera. Members of this family are parasitic, rootless, without chlorophyll, and monoecious (with both sexes in the same individual) or dioecious (with unisexual individuals). The non-flowering parts normally live inside the tissue of the host plant (it exists as an endophytic body), resembling strings or chains or plates of cells. All members of the family are obligate parasites, i.e. totally dependent on the host plant for water and nutrients.

    All representitives of the family are holoparasitic and host-specific to a certain degree. Rafflesia specializes on lianas (wody climbers) of the genus Tetrastigma (Vitaceae), Pilostyles and Apodanthes on legumes, and Cytinus may be restricted to Cistus."

    The Awesome Amrophos:
    Yes I've read that it alternates flower or leaf year by year but I've also read that "the flower is followed soon after by a leaf" if the inflorescence was not pollinated. It's just getting to the flowering size that takes forever (tapping fingers on table staring at seedling)...

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