I have thousands of rosettes that must be cleaned of their gemmae to maintain the health of the plant. *Even unwanted gemmae may not be allowed to remain on the plant or it will suffocate the rosette. *In habitat, rains of the wet season do the job, but in collections you have to do the job.
I made a vacume cleaner out of a mason jar, 2 lengths of plastic tubeing, and a bit of nylon (pantyhose style).
Poke 2 holes just wide enough to accomodate the tubeing. *One length of tube (the vacume "hose") extends to the base of the jar, the other is l
kept short, just under the lid. *The nylon mesh is taped to the end of this tube, which only needs extend just into the jar.
Seal the holes with some glue from a glue gun, or with some chewed up gum to make an air tight seal. *Inhale through the short tube, and use the long hose tube to gently abrade the wheels of gemmae. *Viola! *You will soon have a mass of gemmae inside the jar with little trouble. *Upend the jar over a sheet of paper and rap it firmly onto the paper.
Needless to say, you need to be sure the nylon is WELL AFFIXED to the tube. *I usually fold a bit over itself to be absolutely sure there are no spaces large enough for any gemmae to get through. *Make the hose just long enough to use with comfort, the longer the hose the lower the suction.
Different species of pygmys form gemmae at different times, but I have noted gemmae formation happens soonest under a strict natural photoperiod, with no added light after sunset. *USe of a long photoperiod this time of year will delay or prevent gemmae formation.
Gemmae are not seeds and need to be sown ASAP. *Cold storage in just moist paper is possible. *The fatter and more round gemmae are the shortest lives: flat plate like gemmae may last for over a month.
The use of parrafin oil along with just above freezing temps. will preserve gemmae nearly indefinately. *A friend sowed gemmae stored for over a year using this method with very good germination.
I will soon be offering gemmae, but with some differences from last seasons methods. *I need to cut down the number of email questions as to what the numbers meant, so will post a pinned manifest list to this forum. *
Currently my D. paleacea species are forming gemmae, and are available to anyone who sends me a SASE, with a note saying D. paleacea. *I cannot give a further ID as to subspecies as I have not mastered the taxonomy yet.
All my gemmae will be free of charge as always, and I ask only that you plant them, that you try to share them when your plants make gemmae of their own, and that you keep me in mind if you have anything extra to share now or in the future that you think I might like. *I absolutely forbid you to sell this gemmae, although you may freely share it (please do)!
I got to tell ya folks, last seasons efforts were way too much! *I was working some 7 hr. days with breaks only for meals. *This seasons packaging will really help me out as soon as I obtain the needed zip lock bags. *I said I wasn't gonna do this again! *Last season I send out around 1000 tripple wrapped units to close to 200 growers.
But, well geez, I love ya all and I love the plants too, so let's rock.
My address is :
42 East Oneida Street
Oswego, New York 13126
Send more than one SASE and I will eventually send you an assortment. *You might not get what you hoped for or what i said I would send. *Dems da breaks :-)
If I missed you or messed up last season, let me know and I'll try again. *Thanks for the patience and understanding, and also my usual disclaimer applies: pygmy taxonomy is difficult, labels get lost, I send gemmae I haven't grown when I have extra sent to me: all of this means I can't give any assurances as to accuracy of the ID's, although I believe most are fairly accurate, thanks to good communication this year with Phill Mann. *Get out your Lowerie books and good luck!!!