Try this...

Some fun for the hard working botanists and green fingered. A sort of posting Quiz and educative posts. N-Joi...

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RB
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Try this...

Post by RB » Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:36 pm

Was going to post under the Cultivation section, but thought I'd give you some fun instead.

Non-native, if calculated by number of specimens I know of "very very rare" locally, does not set seed locally yet propagates by root suckers, potentially (I know of only one place where this is evident, and that's where this came from).

I'm not being that cruel, as for the observant, this small tree is very beautiful when in bloom and happens to be planted in a couple of conspicuous places.

If you keep your eyes open you'll have seen this, even if the actual ID'ing is another matter.

If you need help, ask me, and promise to buy me a drink. Or two.

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Post by Sdravko » Sat Nov 25, 2006 6:03 pm

its mildly invasive but not one of my favorite enemies. think i even never killed it. :D

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Post by RB » Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:57 am

Where did you see this plant in it's "mildly invasive" form :wink:

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Post by Sdravko » Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:20 pm

very mildly invasive (think i saw one young ind which may not have been planted under some old ones) at Ghar Dalam, much less mildly invasive in Tenerife. you can plant it, almost everything is 'mildly invasive' that does not mean you have to avoid everything.

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Post by RB » Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:47 pm

Well done, you got it.

The young ones you find are not seedlings but come from the surface roots.

There is one example in Wardija, planted by a roadside, which has plenty of plantlets, growing practically underneath parked cars.

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Post by RB » Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:48 pm

Anybody else?

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Post by MWP admin » Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:27 pm

I wait to see the flowers :lol: :lol:
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Post by RB » Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:23 pm

Well then here they are.
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Congratulationd for propagating this!

Post by MWP admin » Mon Nov 27, 2006 8:03 pm

Does it form large leaves?

Wigandia caracasana ? ( :!: )
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Post by RB » Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:51 pm

Prosit that's it, and yes managing to obtain one/keep it alive was a struggle.

I found this, as above, growing by the roadside at Wardija, it appeared to have "seedlings" growing literally where cars can park since the roadside is dirt.

Turns out they were sprouting surface roots, there were plenty, so I dug up a few plantlets with as much root as possible, not easy as the well-trod ground was hardpacked.

This was Summer, about Sep if not mistaken.

Placed in compost and covered by plastic bags, essential.

Some appeared to be growing, but upon taking out of the bags, the leaves would wilt. Continued occasionally taking them out of the bags, testing them, but it was always hit or miss.

Finally I had about 3 out of the bags, yet it was essential to keep them well watered.

Unfortunately this plant does not seem to like "well watered", and I lost the rest to rot and insect attack before the root system could have been properly established.

Upon hindsight, at the time of collection the plant was in full vigorous growth, soft growth, requiring plenty of water on the one hand because they were not much more than "improved" cuttings, yet at the same time this extra water was something the plants themselves could not deal with, had no tolerance for.

I think that the exercise is best carried out somewhere around March-April when the growth is slow, semi-dormant, and there are less leaves on the tree, temp lower, plant "hardended", such that there will not be a requirment for so much water and also the plant will dedicate its energies to establishing a root system rather than shooting upwards. At that time of year the timing is also good for one to enjoy the rapid growth once the plants are established, going on to Summer.

Mine at the mo is slowing down, practically stopped growing and leaves yellowing slightly, preparing for the colder weather, so I hope to keep it a bit drier.

One thing I noticed (not surprising at all) is that the very smallest plantlet survived.

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Post by MWP admin » Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:11 pm

They seem to be very delicate / fastiduous plants for propagating.

The bag covering is to keep high moist level I suppose. Have you tried to grow them indoor with controlled water input from pot plates. Add 50% vermiculite to improve water retention and ariation.

Congratulations for your success!
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Post by RB » Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:19 pm

Indoors not really an option, these plants require plenty of light, when established, full sun. Even keeping them in the shade which was essential of course when taken, was a problem as the new growth elongated and thus became "softer" and thus more susceptible to rot, which is an issue inside a plastic bag.

I think that again the best time is probably as the plants are coming out of winter semi-dormancy, when the temps are lower and thus the top growth is slower too.

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Post by MWP admin » Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:32 pm

I see, looks they were grown out of season then.

TIP:
In cool seasons (winter/early Spring), roots are encouraged to grow faster by keeping soil temperature warmer (+5C) from aerial temperature. Needs special equipment I'm afraid.
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Post by jackpot » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:55 am

but Wigandia seems to be a pretty rare ornamental in Malta

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Post by RB » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:20 am

It is, I only know of it in 3 locations - Ghar Dalam, Qajjenza (2 plants, close by) and now also Wardija.

Undoubtedly in some private gardens also.

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Post by MWP admin » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:51 pm

How is the Wigandia caracasana doin RB?
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Post by RB » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:10 am

It is a very fast grower - it is now in a 40cm pot (more like a bucket actually) and is now around 1.5m high, with leaves again up to 40cm long. Right now growth is much slower of course, very nearly stopped, coz of the cold. It also survived falling 1 storey high when it was in a smaller pot and got blown over :roll:

It has put out about 3 suckers, 2 of which seem to have died off but one is around half the size of the way it was in the pic you can see.

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Post by RB » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:05 pm

Flowers soon!

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all this and flowers too

Post by Glimbo » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:24 pm

Thanks for that RB, I've read up on this as well as looking through the info on this thread. An interesting plant, I look forward to it's flowering - looks a real beauty.

glimbo

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Post by RB » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:29 pm

Here's an update pic, you can also see the flowerbuds forming.

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Post by Glimbo » Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:48 pm

Thanks for the link RB.

I've looked this one up now - the flowers look worth the wait....

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Post by MWP admin » Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:21 pm

Does Wigandia have a strange semi-aromatic smell and viscous?
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Post by RB » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:07 pm

Yes sticky

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Post by MWP admin » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:24 pm

Well, I am not sure what I found today at Mellieha, but it was a 2-4m herbaceous tree-like plant with leaves as large as 70cm long, net-veined, sticky below due to glandular hair, and had a certain camphor-like smell.

The inflor was terminal, dense, and still in buds. The flowers (after disecting a bud manually, was like a perfect, simple flower (cream-like but maybe colour still undevelopped). Petals seems free (but again, I was looking at an undevelopped flower)

Habitat rather damp.
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Post by RB » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:53 am

Seems about right.

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Post by MWP admin » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:06 am

After some more research, I concluded that it is Wigandia caracasana. A very small doubt may remain on the exact species, but Wigandia for sure. Not really good (morphological) pics on the net, but now I have seen one of your later photos (skipped for some reason during my earlier post) and looks alike. I also examined some more buds and noticed that some have patches of darker colour, so probably they will develop the violet colour when ripe.

I was impressed by the size of the leaves (Could cover entirely my bum!), and the nice semi-aromatic odour the hairy glands produce (its like Radian B or something simialr)
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