After much searching I finally managed to locate one of my favourite Utricularia species growing in the wild. I hadn't seen the plant for over 8 years but thought I'd make an extra effort to find it this Spring. In the end I found it growing in a wetland area which was only 5 minutes drive from my house. I had thought that the area looked a promising spot but had never visited it at the right time of year.
After walking for an hour and a half through knee deep water I finally found the plants right where I had begun- isn't that always the way! So after ruining my shoes, soaking my pants and straining my hamstring these are the photos I have for my efforts. Some aren't as good as I'd like so I plan getting back after work this week when it isn't so windy.
By the way, the plant was Utricularia beaugleholei which is a plant that I doubt anybody grows or has even seen besides in Lowrie's 3rd book (my photos too). Hope you like them.
Firstly, a picture of the habitat. The area is bounded by a freeway on one side, an industrial estate and an old airforce base on the others. It is a seasonal wetland (dries out in Summer) which is kneedeep water throughout the entire area. The U. beaugleholei plants were found in the foreground on the edge of the wetland where the soil was just beginning to dry out. In winter the plants would have been growing in a foot of water, at the moment the plants are in wet soil but not submerged-
Next, a single plant growing amongst reeds and nardoo(water fern)-
A closeup of a single flower-
A typical 3 flowered whorl with more buds in the centre-
And finally a small group of plants flowering together-
This plant was once considered to be the same as U. dichotoma until myself and a friend "discovered" it in the early 90's. I can't believe it took botanists so long to realise that the 2 are distinct species.
Now I just need to collect a few seeds and get the plant growing in my collection so that I can spread it around.
Well congratulations Mate!! I know how much this means to you, and what a thrill it must be. I can also appreciate the irony of the closeness of the plant to your home (I had a similar experience with U. macrorhiza: looked all over the state to find it 5 mins. from my door!). I think I heard your shout by the way, and it woke me out of a solid sleep, hee hee! Sounded sort of like a trumpet or perhaps a beaugle!
Now, when you go back, please try to get a shot of the leaves for me. I am fairly certain that the plant I grow is not this species as the tips are rounded. These should be pointy I think. The palate sure is distinctive!
I'll be celebrating with you here in up over, and I am very happy that you managed to find your plant. So, what's the next holy grail for you? A man needs a dream!
Well, I've never seen Utricularia monanthos or Utricularia dichotoma ssp. monanthos depending upon who you talk to. I plan on finding this plant up in the high country some time in the middle of our summer (probably January). This is the only Utricularia species that I am yet to see in my part of the country.
Besides that a trip to WA to see Utricularia inaequalis would be nice!
I plan on revisiting the spot in a couple of days. I will be sure to get some shots of the leaves and hopefully bladders. It will be difficult because the plants grow in dense reeds and the leaves are difficult to see- I will manage though.
I had a good look at the leaves during my visit and can tell you what they look like though. They were around 1-1.5 inches in length, lanceolate with a pointed tip.
Generally U. dichotoma will have a rounded leaf, but I have seen U. dichotoma with pointed leaves too. These plants grew in similar conditions to what I found these U. beaugleholei growing in- shallow water which dries out seasonally.
It is my belief that if the U. beaugleholei were to grow in a drier environment- one in which they weren't submerged, that they too would have much shorter leaves. I doubt whether they would be rounded though.
I'll do some growth tests and see how the leaves react to the different conditions.
I'll post the pictures as soon as I take them.
I really enjoyed seeing the pics of this species, described by my good friend Robert Gassin. Is he the one you mention you discovered it with? Have any contact with him still? Anyways, the pics are great, I really enjoyed seeing them. And I always like a good field report, no matter how "easy" they were to find in the end.
Keep up the good work!!
The friend I mention is in fact Robert Gassin. We weren't actually together at the time we both found the plants but about 300 kms apart. We both found U. beaugleholei on the same day back in the early nineties. Both of us realised immediately it was a distinct species and when we next met up at the VCPS (Victorian Carnivorous Plant Society) meeting we both began telling each other of a new Utric species we'd both found. Robert then went ahead and described the plants as U. beaugleholei.
I haven't seen Robert for many years. I travelled to WA with Robert and Robert Gibson and lost contact with him not long after this. We were both lost to the CP world for many years. I resurfaced about 3 years ago and Robert has not been seen since.
I did recieve a phone call at work from Robert last year. It was purely by chance. I had seized some palm seed he was importing from Mauritius (I'm an Australian Customs/Quarantine Officer). I spoke to him for a while and he explained that he no longer grows any CP's and his interest has shifted to palms. I think he may have gone mad [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
With some luck he will realise the error of his ways and return from the 'dark side'.
How is it that you know Robert? If you don't mind me asking. I know he was planning a trip to Brazil and the tepuis many years back but never found out if he actually made it.
It has been an honour to be able to correspond with you, albeit briefly. Your postcards from Mexico and other expeditions throughout South America are truly inspiring. Hopefully one day I will have the pleasure of meeting you in person.