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Re: Cultivating Cyrtosperma

  • Subject: Re: Cultivating Cyrtosperma
  • From: "Horak, David" <davidhorak@bbg.org>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2008 12:38:49 -0400

Here at the botanic garden we have many of the more common big aquatic aroids. All are cultivated on display or in the back with their root masses completely submerged and they grow like weeds. This would not be an easy approach for anyone without a greenhouse, but if you do have one (or are able to grow outside) it is easy. As Julius and others have indicated the concern is more than just being "wet". Fresh water frequently is the key. In the case of our aquatic house pool there is a constant slight flow of fresh make-up water so any media works as there is little problem with anaerobic conditions and hence root rot. Secondly, warm water temperatures are crucial. All our plants-whether Typhonodorum, Lasia, Montrichardia, Lasimorpha, Urospathas or Cyrtospermas-inevitably get exposed to air temps down to the upper 30's F. for a night, two or three, but the water temperature is maintained at 80 degrees and none show any ill effects. Though last year the water heater failed and the water temps went down to the mid-40's and there was considerable leaf yellowing in the succeeding weeks, though no plant losses. It is a constant challenge to provide enough nutrients to these plants.

In our back houses, any plants, seedlings, divisions are grown with submerged roots and daily freshening-mostly just topping off from evaporation though once in a while significant replacement.  These rarely get fertilized as there would be problems. The media for everything is primarily a clay soil, compost and sand mix but they have not shown themselves to be fussy.

Just thought I would add to this discussion. I will try to get some photos in the next couple of days to post.

Dave Horak
Brooklyn Botanic Garden

-----Original Message-----
From: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com] On Behalf Of ju-bo@msn.com
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 5:35 AM
To: Discussion of aroids
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Cultivating Cyrtosperma

> Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2008 02:00:10 +0100
> From: gartenbaureisenberger@web.de
> To: aroid-l@gizmoworks.com
> Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Cyrtosperma
> > -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> > Von: Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
> > Gesendet: 08.03.08 17:05:48
> > An: Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
> > CC: kaufmanrareplants@yahoo.com
> > Betreff: Re: [Aroid-l] Cyrtosperma
Dear Helmut,

Good to hear from another grower who likes the aquatics!
I would suggest that you obtain and read a copy of my paper in Aroideana Vol. 16, ``Experiencing Urospathas``, as in this article I detail a method I developed for the sucessful growing of these difficult to grow aquatic aroids (at least over a long period of time) in the Family Lasieae, which includes Cyrtosperma, Urospatha, Dracontioides, Lasimorpha, Podolasia and others.
Others on this list have given you great advice, but what has not been throughly addressed is the problem of salts from the fertilizer building up and concentrating in the soil and water, this condition is usually the cause of the leaf burn you describe, plus the lower water temperatures in winter time.   As suggested by Brian Williams, the water in the saucers must be changed and the saucers washed on a weekly basis, and the pots with the plants flushed by excessive watering every month or so.
You can also experiment with more ''natural'' fertilizers such as OLD cow manure and WEAKLY mixed fish emulsion, etc., these will work better than commercially available powdered/dry fertilizers which consist mainly of salts.
I hope that this advice may help you grow your plants to be even more beautiful!


Julius Boos


<<> Dear Julius,
 I have been growing Cyrtsperma johnstonii for a couple of years in my greenhouses in Vienna / Austria.  Since I can offer them optimal indoor conditions, - heated greenhouse (25 - 35 Cels.), indirect sunlight + additional light in winter and relatively high humidity, - they are vigorious growers (up to two meters in a year) and producing lots of suckers. The substrate I use is LariAnns recommended mix for the very sensitive and difficult novelty Alocasias.
> The problem is, that the biggest leaves start browning from the margins, and then spotting the whole leaf blade. At the same time  the petioles bend over and after a short while the leaves are gone. What can be wrong???  I think, I can offer them optimal conditions, standing next to the difficult Alocasias ("little jewels"), which I now have under control. Thanks for your experts advise!
> sincerely
> Helmut Reisenberger
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > ________________________________
> > > Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 12:17:11 -0800
> > > From: kaufmanrareplants@yahoo.com
> > > To: aroid-l@gizmoworks.com
> > > Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Cyrtosperma
> >  
> > Dear Stan,
> > 
> > Allow me to attempt to assist you with an I.D.   From your description the plant you saw in Honduras was/is Lasimorpha senegalensis, which is native to W. Africa!   A jpeg from you of an inflorsence from the plant you saw, which should be yellowish and blotched with purplish markings,  would confirm it.   Your observation of the ''square'' petioles with spikes suggests/confirms  it's I.D., as all Cyrtospermas have more or less rounded (in cross section) petioles with thorns.   There is another Lasioid genus which occurs in Central and Northern S. America, namely Urospatha, but this does not have spikes or spines on the petioles or anywhere else.   The genus has been recorded in Belize, and so should be expected to occur in Honduras in swampy areas.  Most species have rounded petioles, but one species from near El Tigre in W. Venezuela has angled/"squarish' petioles, but never has spines/spikes/thorns, and all species of Urospatha have long ''projections'' to the tips of the s
> >  pathe, some species are cork-screwed, a few are straight and tubular.
> > Lots more valuable information, including photos and instructions for their cultivation of these most interesting aquatic species can be seen in my papers --" Boos, J. O. 1993.  Experiencing Urospathas.  Aroideana 16: 33-36", and "Boos, J. O. 1997.  Observations on New World Araceae-Lasieae.  Aroideana 20: 13-26."
> > Additional information on this and all other genera can be had in Deni Bown`s remarkable book, "Aroids Plants of the Arum Family", Timber Press, ISBN  0-88192-485-7. 
> > Enid at Natural Selections is a source for these plants, sometimes in short supply.
> > Susan, the name Alocasia johnstonii was a big error, they are very different to and a seperate genus/group to Alocasias.
> > I look forward to hearing from you with more information!
> > 
> > Sincerely,
> > 
> > Julius Boos, WPB  FLORIDA
> > 
> > >> Hi Susan,
> > > 
> > > I saw an eight to ten foot example of this in Honduras -with square stems spiked all along the four corners.  I have photos of the infls. too.  Do you know the species , if it is available in US and whether it can be grown in containers in a greenhouse.  It is really spectacular.
> > > 
> > > Stan
> > > 
> > > Susan B  wrote:
> > > Or whatever this big leaf is... I think Julius was looking for this photo quite a while back...
> > > Taken at Fairchild Gardens
> > > 
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