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

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

    I got this plant a year ago from Chuck Lyon. At the time I was told that it is either a German giant or an Australian giant. It only had one pitcher on it that was mature and this pitcher had a distinct hump on the back. Since then, plant has finally grown and matured and I wanted to ask for experienced opinions on the taxonomy of the plant and whether it really is a giant or not.

    From the photos, is the plant old enough to tell? Or do I have to wait some couple more months for more mature pitchers that develop in larger sizes before it is possible to tell?

    A few more details about the plant might reveal whether it really is a giant or not. When I got the plant and planted it up, it did not even flinch. Not a single leaf or pitcher was lost. It just kept growing. A friend of mine has a German giant and he told me that the same thing happened to his German giant. But he also told me that his German giant is ridiculously slow-growing. This plant grows plenty fast! Does that mean its just a vigorous typical?

    I also received another plant from Chuck which is supposed to be the other giant of the two but it has grown much slower so I can't tell if either of these plants is a giant at all or if they are typical plants and not of giant taxonomy origins. That plant is not developing enough mature pitches for me to post a picture yet.

    Old Plant:




    Almost a year later:


    Pitcher closeups:




  2. #2
    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    Nice looking ceph.

    I do not think there is really any way to tell.
    Any plant of the same clone can grow, and look very different under different conditions. (Lighting, Soil mix, Watering, Feeding, etc.....)
    If you where told it was a German Giant or an Australian Giant, then I guess if you ever trade material from this plant, you say it is one of those Giants. (List both)
    If I was looking for either one of those Giant, I myself would not trade with you. Just because I would want to know for sure what I have.
    Others may disagree with me, but I got a plant from someone and I was told it was either a German Giant or an Australian Giant, I'd probably just call it a Typical so that there was no confusing when I traded plant material.


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    BigBella's Avatar
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    One way of differentiating -- to some degree anyway -- "Hummer's" from the "German Giant" Cephalotus is in the very appearance of the pitchers themselves. In all of the "Hummer's" plants I've had, the "T"-shaped ventral rib on the pitcher was very prominent (almost a broad triangle in many), even when the plants were seedlings (and seen in many juvenile leaves), and that they were more coarse (including even the nature of the peristome itself) or rugose in appearance than other clones, somewhat resembling the pock-marked texture of hammered metal. I would venture to say that the last photo posted with the adult pitchers is very likely a "Hummer's Giant." Here is an adult pitcher and a juvenile of that cultivar with the very pronounced "T"-shaped ventral rib and texture:




    The fact that your plants did not "flinch" when you potted them, reflects more on your skill and the quality and the health of the plants in question than on anything else -- and not on any particular cultivar. The majority of Cephalotus I have received over the years arrived bare-root, either wrapped in sphagnum, paper towel, or both -- and I have never experienced a problem . . .

    There are a couple of sites online which go into more exhaustive detail among the differences of the so-called "Giant" clones. I would have to agree though that the "German Giant" grows terribly slowly -- and if your plants appear more vigorous and grow in the habit of "typical" forms (as "Hummer's Giant", for example), there is a bit of a clue; I've had two "German" plants in a large container for the last four years, and another which is just now producing small adult pitchers after three (see photo below) -- even though other Cephalotus have developed from cuttings to large flowering plants in the same space -- under the very same conditions; and I have no doubt as to their origins, since they came from Tony Paroubek back in 2004 . . .



    Try these sites for more information:

    http://www.aqph26.dsl.pipex.com/index.html

    http://www.humboldt.edu/~rrz7001/Fra...arisGiant.html


    [QUOTE=b.t.;885035]I got this plant a year ago from Chuck Lyon. At the time I was told that it is either a German giant or an Australian giant. It only had one pitcher on it that was mature and this pitcher had a distinct hump on the back. Since then, plant has finally grown and matured and I wanted to ask for experienced opinions on the taxonomy of the plant and whether it really is a giant or not.

    From the photos, is the plant old enough to tell? Or do I have to wait some couple more months for more mature pitchers that develop in larger sizes before it is possible to tell?

    A few more details about the plant might reveal whether it really is a giant or not. When I got the plant and planted it up, it did not even flinch. Not a single leaf or pitcher was lost. It just kept growing. A friend of mine has a German giant and he told me that the same thing happened to his German giant. But he also told me that his German giant is ridiculously slow-growing. This plant grows plenty fast! Does that mean its just a vigorous typical?

    I also received another plant from Chuck which is supposed to be the other giant of the two but it has grown much slower so I can't tell if either of these plants is a giant at all or if they are typical plants and not of giant taxonomy origins. That plant is not developing enough mature pitches for me to post a picture yet.
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

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    JMurphy97's Avatar
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    This is what I was also wondering because I have two different cephs and one has huge pitchers compared to the other.

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    One other factor is whether the plants were grown from cuttings, rhizome / root divisions, or tissue culture. I've been told by a number of growers -- including Peter D'Amato -- that the TC plants tend to grow very slowly; why this is the case, is a bit of a mystery.

    I do know that the "German Giant" Cephalotus I have is from tissue culture, but that particular clone already has had a glow-growing reputation. I would insist though that the "German Giant" pitchers more closely resemble the "typical" form than "Hummer's Giant" . . .
    Last edited by BigBella; 07-05-2008 at 09:04 AM. Reason: error
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    Thanks for that insightful information about the giant clones. It makes me wonder how you can go about obtaining a clone and be sure that it is actually a giant and not just a typical. Short of going directly to the man who registered the cultivar and I forget his name it's probably *something* Hummer...

    Is just a lot of trust involved in the end?

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    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b.t. View Post
    It makes me wonder how you can go about obtaining a clone and be sure that it is actually a giant and not just a typical.
    Therein lie the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by b.t. View Post
    Is just a lot of trust involved in the end?
    Or wishful thinking. Look at venus flytraps...

    xvart.
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  8. #8
    Katherine
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    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.
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