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Thread: A Taste of the Frederik Meijer Gardens' Neps

  1. #1

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    Hey everyone!
    I took a few photos of some Neps grown here at the Frederik Meijer Gardens, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This also serves as a preview of what the Erie Carnivorous Plant Society will see on their visit.
    The curator of the carnivorous plants here is Steve LaWarre, and I, Amori Watanabe, am his helper.
    Note that I am a volunteer here and also received permission to post these pics on this forum. I hope you like what you see! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]


    This is our big N. bicalcarata. As you can see, it's starting to climb. This plant hogs 60% of the ants in the greenhouse, as well as the attention of disrespectful visitors who like to break off pitcher buds [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif[/img] . Either way, it's a really nice plant.


    This is a very nice intermediate pitcher that opened on the big plant you see above. You can see by the coiled tendril and shape of the pitcher that this is an intermediate, along with the fact that it still has slight wings. Luckily, the ants you can see didn't bite me. I think they're too constantly inebriated to do so [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif[/img] .


    Oh my gosh! This is what Steve and I said when we saw this upper pitcher once it fully opened. As you can see, the tendril had successfully grabbed a support bar of the greenhouse. On the right hand side you can see that another tendril has made its journey around the same bar. You can see part of the arid garden in the background.


    This is the first nice lower pitcher the N. bongso plant in the greenhouse has made. This little plant has been vining all over the place for a long time, and it finally decided to put out bigger vines and pitchers. You can see from this pic that it is still a long way from a mature pitcher. That is an upper pitcher in the background on the right.


    This small pitcher was developed by the only N. lowii plant we have. You can clearly see the exudates and the bristles on the underside of the lid - yum [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] ! I don't know what form it is, but it's really nice, especially due to its dark colour. This pitcher is about 3" tall. We expect the next pitcher to be about 6" (1:1 ratio pitcher:tendril).


    This plant was formally a long, thin vine (used for propagation), and as soon as we found basal growth, we hacked it off! The basal rosette of this N. maxima 'Pieriensis' measures over a foot in diameter, and the pitcher seen here is about 8" tall. A beaut.


    This N. maxima 'SGS' plant is another proof of beauty in the maxima family.


    These pitchers grow on two plants that are starting to climb. Not the biggest N. rafflesiana pitchers we've had, but a very nice example.


    These N. truncata monsters are just amazing (the biggest female having been donated by Bill baumgartl). All these plants (2 males, 2 females) have flowered and produced copious seed, and have now recuperated from that ordeal. The females are much bigger than the males (though I don't think this is significant) and are making huuuuge pitchers (below). Ants love these plants as well. Really big plants!


    The biggest Nepenthes pitcher I have ever seen and/or held. This N. truncata pitcher measures around 18" tall and was produced by the bigger female.

    End of Part 1.

  2. #2

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    Cool plants! nice photos. That bical is cool, maybe you'll get some upper pitchers soon

  3. #3
    Capslock's Avatar
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    Great collection, Amori! Keep the pictures coming! That truncata is crazy! My uncle lives in Grand Rapids, so if I'm out that way, I'll check your place out!

    Capslock
    Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium

    My photos are copyright-free and public domain

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    Part 2


    A very interesting plant. The scrambling vines of this cultivar 'Toilet Bowl' don't produce pitchers unless the tendrils come to rest on a surface. So this is one of the few pitchers on that plant. Not the biggest pitcher we've had, at around 5" (the biggest was around 8" tall). The peristome is thick, brittle, and elegantly wavy. This looks a lot like the Japanese ventricosa clones or the one sold as 'clone D' by Exotica Plants (Mansell).


    What can I say? This N. truncata x veitchii is just gorgeous. All the previous pitchers looked 80% truncata and the rest veitchii. This pitcher has justified it's veitchii-ness. The peristome is a delicious-looking gold with faint stripes and makes an upside-down heart-shaped opening. About a foot tall.


    This N. x mixta var. 'Superba' plant makes huge pitchers! Not only are the tendrils long, but the pitchers reach about 16"! The one on the lower left is about that big. A weed, yet very nice.


    Not very well known, this hybrid, N. x edinensis, is a weed. Once it vines, it vines. No more basal rosettes, nothing. Just vines. New shoots become vines. You can probably imagine the trouble we will have when one whole side of the greenhouse is covered with this and the N. x wrigleyana. Whats more, it was pollinated (yes, it's a girl) by the darn ants with N. gracilis, and when I cut the spike off two days ago, poof! A cloud of seed that landed all over! I've always wanted Nepenthes seed to be viable, but not this time.
    It even grows in constant humidity levels of less than 40% i.e. in my living room. Cuttings, anyone?


    A very nice N. x ventrata, this plant makes pitchers about 8" tall. We have managed to cross it (well, actually, the ants did) with N. truncata and have some seedlings. This should result in a simple but nice highland (didn't germinate in lowland conditions) hybrid when mature.


    Growing alongside the N. x edinensis, this white clone of N. x wrigleyana has proved to be almost as weedy. The pitchers are more interesting though, at least. These are just 2 of the many pitchers this one plant is making. We're still waiting for the red clones to vine.

    I hope you enjoyed this mini tour of the Frederik Meijer Gardens' Nep collection [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] .

    Many thanks to Steve LaWarre!

    Shokuchuu - Japanese for "insectivorous", BTW.
    Amori Watanabe

  5. #5

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    Thanks alot to Shokuchuu and Steve for the really wonderful photos and guide around the cp house. The collection is fantastic! I only asked Steve this morning where the gardens were,.....
    It certainly puts my small collection to shame. I just wish I lived nearby and could visit,..even volunteer!!,.. unfortunately I'm many miles away in Singapore. How I wish we had something like this in Singapore. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]
    Happy growing, Neil
    A 'pitcher gallery' is where the art is drawn by Mother Nature and a 'pitcher says a thousand words'.
    My pitcher gallery is at: http://community.webshots.com/user/neilsingapore

  6. #6
    swords's Avatar
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    Thats a great photo tour-thanks for showing us around!
    I'm glad to see my truncata x vetchii will not be "ugly" forever! That's a beautiful pitcher!

  7. #7
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Fantastic photos! Great to see nice healthy large plants.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  8. #8

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    Those are awesome pics! If I'm ever in your area (very unlikely), I'm coming to see your plants!!

    SF

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