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Thread: How do you tell if its a ceph giant or typical?

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kath View Post
    I have noticed one stratling difference between typical and 'giant' cepha's (or at least all the photos of 'ginat cephs' I've seen) and that is the shape of the leaf.
    For instance: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=114126
    The top photos are of a 'giant' ceph. Notice the leaves. They are very large, round, and on long stalks.

    I find these differences in leaves are not always apparent though. Not all 'giant' cephs show these leaves, most only seem to have one or two of these leaves, some seem to make lots, but I've never seen a typical make leaves like that.
    I don't know if this is actually correct, just an observation I made.
    Among variations that I've consistently seen, having had both "typical" and "giant" cultivars of Cephalotus over the years, is a marked difference in the structure of the "vegetative" leaves. In the larger varieties, those round or spear-shaped leaves of Spring are distinctly thicker in cross-section -- almost succulent in character; in the typical forms, the leaves remain flatter -- even if they attain the same size and age.

    Other minor differences, even among the larger varieties, include their general habit of growth. Some larger cultivars produce a plethora of vegetative leaves in the Spring (one having produced a leaf almost 15 cm (6") long), while others yield only the tiniest bundle before "pitchering" sets in. Also, my larger -- older -- plants seem to produce their fair share of odd intermediate leaves early in the year. In some of my plants, I am only able to take pitchers as a leaf-pull because the vegetative leaves are so few, tiny, and buried among the carnivorous leaves . . .

    Last edited by BigBella; 07-08-2008 at 11:19 AM. Reason: yet another photo issue . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    "Australian Giant" and "German Giant" are unregistered cultivars. If you're unsure of it's ID, you should clearly say so on your plant tags.

    There's a wide amount of variation in the shape, markings, and coloration of Ceph pitchers. There's no full-proof way to use these characteristics to determine whether your plant is one cultivar or another. You'll find out whether your plant is a giant after it produces giant pitchers! Guessing does disservice to the community--there's a lot of misnamed plants out there already.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
    Member, International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS)
    Member, North American Sarracenia Conservancy (NASC)
    Member, The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS)

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    Moderator Cindy's Avatar
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    I wonder if any of the giant clone will grow differently in different conditions i.e. giant clone never realising their full potential simply because of "non-ideal" conditions.

    Anyone has got experience growing any of the giants next to a typical of the same age, side by side?
    Cindy

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy View Post
    I wonder if any of the giant clone will grow differently in different conditions i.e. giant clone never realising their full potential simply because of "non-ideal" conditions.

    Anyone has got experience growing any of the giants next to a typical of the same age, side by side?
    I have done that, and with the exception of the notoriously slow-growing "German Giant" Cephalotus, both the 'typical" form and "Hummer's Giant" Cephalotus grow at similar rates. The larger clones, cultivated under identical circumstances, will easily outstrip the "typical" plants when grown properly; otherwise, even the larger cultivars may only achieve a ten percent increase in size over the "typical" Cephalotus (a figure derived from the Augustin Franco article, "Cephalotus follicularis Giant Forms: “Myth or Reality?” mentioned at the beginning of this thread).

    To add some further confusion, some so-called "Giant" clones may be of dubious quality -- something that Barry Rice has mentioned either in Growing Carnivorous Plants or on his site, and an opinion shared by a number of other growers. Whether this stems from an issue in tissue culture practices (a source of a good number of these plants nowadays) or in individual cultivation? I don't know.

    This is something that I have also noticed. I have had "Hummer's Giant" clones where some plants of the very same age -- grown under identical circumstances, right down to compost, pot size, and location -- clearly outperform the others; and some only achieve sizes slightly larger than the "typical" forms.

    In addition, I have also had so-called "typical" Cephalotus where occasional pitchers may achieve 7 cm (2.75") or more -- probably more a function of the plant's age at that point (twelve years at least) than in my cultivation . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chloroplast View Post
    "Australian Giant" and "German Giant" are unregistered cultivars. If you're unsure of it's ID, you should clearly say so on your plant tags.

    There's a wide amount of variation in the shape, markings, and coloration of Ceph pitchers. There's no full-proof way to use these characteristics to determine whether your plant is one cultivar or another. You'll find out whether your plant is a giant after it produces giant pitchers! Guessing does disservice to the community--there's a lot of misnamed plants out there already.
    So, they're unregistered. So what? "Hummer's Giant", for example, was commonly referred to by that name for some fourteen years without any cultivar status whatsoever; and those innumerable plants now distributed all over the world are no less legitimate now for lack of publication status than they were then. No one is claiming anything can be "foolproof" but some overall distinctions can be made. Species status is not even a guarantee of safety anymore. I cannot even tell you how many times registered names change, are simply eliminated, superceded in some way, or expanded upon. A couple of particularly hairy Heliamphora minors I've had for years are now arbitrarily considered H. pulchella and a couple H. heterodoxas are now H. glabra and H. exappendiculata. So we change some labels from time to time. Who really cares? "Disservice to the community?" Taxonomy has always been a mess from top to bottom.

    In terms "Australian Giant" I can only assume that "Hummer's Giant" is probably the cultivar being referred to in that instance; "German Giant" (aka "Giant" or "True Giant") commonly refers to the plant(s) introduced in the late 1980s by Harold Weiner, shortly after John Hummer received his plants from Stephen Beckwith (via) Michael Ceple of Australia. Though admittedly unregistered, a distinction enough had been made by the ICPS some time ago:

    "Jan Schlauer, a cultivar registrar from ICPS (International Carnivorous Plant Society) contends that Harold Weiner may have had this ["Giant"] clone many years before it was commercially available in Germany . . .

    "Furthermore, Harold Weiner and John Hummer have never met and there is no evidence to suggest that either the “true giant” is the same as the Hummer’s Giant. Furthermore, empirical knowledge from many Cephalotus growers suggest that the “true giant” grows very slowly while the Hummer’s Giant grows like the “typical form” (Tony Paroubek, Martin Reiner, Jan Schlauer, and Charles E. Brewer, personal communication) . . . "

    --"Cephalotus follicularis Giant Forms: Myth or Reality?” by Augustin Franco

    The combined experiences and expertise of John Hummer, Tony Paroubek, Charles Brewer, Phill Mann, and Augustin Franco are authority enough for my tastes, with or without formal ICPS registration or cultivar status . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    Kung Fu Fighting! NeciFiX's Avatar
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    I got the same German Giant type advertised by Chuck. A year ago, it only had a few mature pitchers and looked as if it had just went from baby to mature about 3 or 4 months beforehand, I too, had the same results, with it not even flinching. I took it out of the bag, cleaned the roots [newbie back then], and potted it up and left it on the low humidity kitchen table, then moved it to a light deprived corner of my room under a few fluorescents. It did fine, nothing died, except a big pitcher about 2-3 weeks later but that just seemed coincidental. I then moved it to my windowsill where it has been for over a year and it has grown quite fast compared to what others say, before I got Cephalotus I expected the plant to be only about 1/5 of it's current size today!

    I thought that it grew marvelously fast compared to what others said, and, it was kind of easy to grow. I've only tried propagation twice, I got two very good pullings and I put one in a little tray of wet peat in the same windowsill along with some seedlings and it failed quickly, the other was in a very salty mix about 9 months ago, so, I'm not surprised. When my Cephalotus flowers, it seems to fit the "very slow" trademark of Cephalotus, with the pitchers developing at 1/10 of their usual speed [it seems as though my Cephalotus has produced a 3rd growth point ALONG with flowering, so, no surprise there], and, the flower stalk took this vigor and gained an inch and a half in height in only 5 or 6 days. It ended up at about 14 inches [35 cm] which is odd, since, most people say that Cephalotus stalks are about two feet. So, my Cephalotus doesn't fit the norm, but, that's good. It's easier that way.

    I trust Chuck not to false advertise, he did some dumb stuff [S. oreophila on eBay anyone?] but, I don't think he'd false advertise it. It's hard to tell. Even though my plant flowered this year, last year it had barely transitioned from baby to adult, so, I think it still has more growing to do and will be done in a year or two. Even if it doesn't grow "giant" size, I'm still probably going to call it that, considering my growing conditions aren't exactly perfect and it's impossible to know how big it could get in certain conditions. Just my 2 cents [or $10, considering the length of this post.]
    - NeciFiX

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeciFiX View Post
    I thought that it grew marvelously fast compared to what others said, and, it was kind of easy to grow. I've only tried propagation twice, I got two very good pullings and I put one in a little tray of wet peat in the same windowsill along with some seedlings and it failed quickly, the other was in a very salty mix about 9 months ago, so, I'm not surprised. When my Cephalotus flowers, it seems to fit the "very slow" trademark of Cephalotus, with the pitchers developing at 1/10 of their usual speed [it seems as though my Cephalotus has produced a 3rd growth point ALONG with flowering, so, no surprise there], and, the flower stalk took this vigor and gained an inch and a half in height in only 5 or 6 days. It ended up at about 14 inches [35 cm] which is odd, since, most people say that Cephalotus stalks are about two feet. So, my Cephalotus doesn't fit the norm, but, that's good. It's easier that way.]
    I have had a similar experience with both that "slow-down" after blooming and the variable-sized flower stalks. The same plants have produced stalks from 30-60cm (1-2') in height from year to year (a "typical" at 60 cm and a "Hummer" at 30 cm and vice-versa), sometimes two in the very same pot -- perpetuating the idiosyncratic reputation of Cephalotus.

    Out of curiousity, was your "German Giant" produced from a leaf cutting / division, or from tissue culture? There does seem to be a relationship between TC and growth rate.
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

    -- Galileo "Biff" Galilei

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    I'm guessing it is leaf or cutting of rhizome. I don't think Chuck dabbles in TC. He barely had time to keep up running his shop and folks have posted his myriad of tanks of CPs online. Or am I mistaken?

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