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Agapetes serpens and 'Ludgvan Cross' Beautiful "Blueberries". Trade/Giveaway.

Agapetes serpens and 'Ludgvan Cross' Beautiful "Blueberries". Trade/Giveaway.

Agapetes is a genus of Old World (Asian) blueberries which I believe grow in some of the same areas as highland Nepenthes. I think the center of their range may be slightly North, often into the Himilayan foothills.

The two most commonly available in the U.S. are Agapetes serpens and Agapetes 'Ludgvan Cross'. A. 'Ludgvan Cross' is a hybrid between A. serpens and A. rugosa, and is a more upright, robust bush. Both the species and the hybrid are caudicifoms, and in nature often epiphytes. They are usually grown in a pot, but I understand they can also grow mounted.

Here are a couple photos of my mom's Agapetes serpens. You can see I elevated the caudex. The photos are from close to a year ago (late February, I think). This plant provided a few edible fruits--they tasted weakly of blueberries. A repeat (and even more amazing) performance is underway. Here's what it looked like last year:

And at night:

Here's a closeup of the hybrid, 'Ludvan Cross', growing at the Dry Garden in Oaklland:

Here's a whole display plant, growing at Annie's Annuals:

(I am not aware of Annie's selling the hybrid, but it is one of their display plants).

And a closeup of the same plant's base (yes, flowers are growing directly out of the stem):

I was at the Dry Garden Nursery in Oakland and they had both Agapetes serpens and Agapetes 'Ludvan Cross', beautiful plants, for an amazing price. I bought one of each. The thing is, I don't have room for more of these--I already have 'Ludgvan Cross' and my mom has an amazing A. serpens (I also grow the Alba form). So I'm going to make these available. I haven't figured out the details, but at this point I'm leaning to trading the A. 'Ludgvan Cross' and putting the A. serpens up as a giveaway. I recently had a giveaway of Deppea and one of its relatives, and pulled it to place them in another location... So the giveaway would replace that in part.

The big problem is that the plants are HUGE, in 1 gallon pots. I will likely be able to cut down on shipping weight by removing some of the soil. I'm hoping to be able to ship these for under 3 lbs.

Here's the Agapetes serpens, a couple views. Again, this may end up as a giveaway:

Here's the Agapetes 'Ludvan Cross', which again I am looking for a trade, assuming I can deal with the weight/size issue

Both plants were $12, and the price of the A. serpens is a fraction of what I will get for the plants (Deppea, Pseudomiltemia) whose giveaway was suspended. Both Agapetes would sell for many times what I paid for them, in an online auction. I may have a second plant giveaway associated with this, which is a Deppea splendens. I am either trading or giving away these plants, not selling. My policy is to not resell other peoples' plants.
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The details of the trade for A. 'Ludgan Cross' and giveaway of A. serpens, will be posted in the trade section in the next week or so, assuming I decide that's what I'll do with them. But feel free to contact me now if you are interested in trading for A. 'Ludgvan Cross'.
I repotted both Agapetes, so that they would be more reasonable to ship. For the Agapetes serpens, this was easy, as it did not have huge roots. I'll show photos of that first. I'm actually at my mom's right now. Her big Agapetes serpens is in much heavier bloom than before. Amazing. I'll try to get good pictures.

Here's what the A. serpens looked like removed from the pot. Most of the soil in the 1 gallon pot was unnecessary and simply fell away.

Here's what it looked like repotted, in a much smaller, 3 1/2 inch pot:

And another view, outside:

And here's a closeup of the caudex:

The plant is now easily in a 3 1/2 inch pot, slightly under a pound, so it will ship for 1-2 pounds in a giveaway. This is a beautiful plant and I'm happy I could so easily reduce the size of the pot and the shipping weight.
Gorgeous plants, and well-grown. Georgia summers would cook them into the next universe--we're talking spontaneous combustion here--but man, they have a delicate gracefulness.
Yeah, it's worth mentioning the temperature requirements of these. They are basically cool growers, but they tolerate more extremes than most. Depending on species they can often take temperatures a bit below freezing. For A. serpens, somewhere in the 20s, I've heard. As far as heat, I've heard they are OK in places with hot summers with coolish nights. There's a guy in Glendale, CA who grows I think both A. serpens and 'Ludgvan Cross' epiphytically, and summer temps there are about 90/60. I suspect it needs some sort of cooling at night like that to be able to do OK heat, and in hotter climates one probably has to play around with sun exposure (morning sun, afternoon shade).

I also wanted to give a link to a species I had never seen before, Agapetes pyrolifolia:

Here are pictures of the repotting of the Agapetes 'Ludgvan Cross' from a 6 inch to a 5 inch pot, mainly for ease of shipping. Notice how big the caudex already is. That is the main barrier to putting in a smaller pot.

Knocked out of the pot:

Some soil removed:

A closeup of the caudex and a few flowers:

In a 5 inch pot:

View of the whole plant in a 5 inch pot:

The plant appeared completely unfazed by the repotting.
I just wanted to add a couple updated photos of my mom's Agapetes serpens, since it's right at the height of booming season. It's been getting better every year.

Daytime, part of the plant:

Nighttime, whole plant:

That is an impressive specimen Randy! I wish I were able to grow more of these here, but I think it's probably too hot. Have you ever tried propagating these from seed (if you/your mom gets seed)? I've heard most of these Ericads are fairly easy to propagate this way.
It has made fruits the last two years, but i haven't tried any seeds personally. I'll have to try this year.

Seeds seem to be pretty hard to find in the few fruits, but they are there if one looks hard enough.

The fruits have a faint blueberry taste. There's definitely nothing unpleasant about them, but he actual flavor is pretty weak.