Re: Helicodiceros muscivorus Information From Fausto Ceni

Dear Fausto,

Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to give us all an
excellent description on the native habitat/climate of Helicodiceros
muscivorus as well as your advice on cultivation of this species. This
is exactly the type of information I was hoping to learn! Really
appreciate your help! 
No need to apoligize for your have a better command of
it than I do!! :) 
I'm wondering here about the damage your tubers have sustained from some
as yet unknown pest; could it possibly be from the larvae of some
representative of the Heliconius butterfly? This guess will probably
make me sound like an idiot since it is an uneducated guess at best, but
I have had Sauromatum tubers turned into Swiss Cheese from this pest in
the past. Just thought I'd mention it as a possibility and maybe some
other Aroider on the list with more knowledge in Entomology than I, 
will come forth with other information on what could be tunneling
through your Helicodiceros. 

Thanks again for posting all this valuable information. Take care. 

Kind Regards,


Douglas Burdic


 Fausto Ceni <> wrote

> Doug Burdic wrote:
> >=20
> > Hi All,
> >=20
> > I was wondering if anybody out there has had any luck growing
> > Helicodiceros muscivorus or knows of any sources for this plant. Like
> > Dracunculus, it is native to Corsica and Sardinia; very hard to
> > duplicate this Mediterranean climate in culture unless you live in
> > Southern California, or have a climate controlled greenhouse it seems.
> > I have a few, but as winter approaches, I am beginning to get paranoid
> > about losing them to the elements in my 'cold frame' greenhouse here on
> > the central Oregon coast. Mine plants never did that well this growing
> > season and would be interested in learning the cultural conditions that
> > other growers of Helicodiceros are using.
> Dear Doug
> =09I have collected H. muscivorus in north Sardinia and I can describe to
> you=20
> how it grows.
> The place is 30 m far from the sea, the ground is sand and earth
> deriving from the decay
> of rosa granite. Nevertheless I think that the plants don't need acidic
> soil or sea salt.
> The plants are in the open shadow of rocks or of Pistacia lentiscus
> shrubs; the climate
> is indeed a tipical mediterranean one: about 500mm rain distributed from
> october to
> may, temperature 2=B0- 10=B0 in the winter. The summer is dry, without rain
> from end june
> to mid september, with temp. 20=B0C to 30=B0C.
> In this place the plant comes out from the earth at mid january or
> beginning of februar, when=20
> the temperature is above 10-12=B0C at day and blooms by mid April to mid
> May.
> In this station, where there are may be one hundred plants, I have never
> had the luck to found fruits
> althought the rest of the inflorescences are full of hundreds of flies.
> At the end of may the leaves are yellow and in june dry.
> I have seven plants, but they blooms alternate and not every years. For
> the first time
> this year I had an inflorescence full of fruits, that I have
> distributed.
> You should not found haevy difficulties growing this plant: store the
> pot in a place=20
> with a temperature over 2=B0C in the winter and then, in march store it in
> your cold glass house
> or in a very protected place. You should give water from october till
> may. I think that the tuber begins to absorb water, in winter, waiting
> for a good temperature.
> This is not a typical bahaviour for mediterranean geophyte plants: they
> are most=20
> winter grower, beginning with the first rain; this plants begins the
> grows later and the growing time is shorter as the other mediterranean
> geophytes: it is an interesting occurrence.
> Let no rain and no water from june till september, storing the pot in a
> place with more as 20=B0C in the summer
> ( I store at 25-27=B0)
> This year I have had unfortunately a not yet understood pest: two tubers
> had an hole and I have little hope to save them: I think an insect
> penetrated in may in the hole of the stem.
> Good luck in growing your plants !!!!
> You should forgive me for my terrible english.
> Fausto
> ---=20
> Dr. Ing. Fausto CENI - Via Marsala 8  I-25122 BRESCIA (ITALY)
> Tf   ++39 30 3756011  -  Fax  ++39 30 42435
> E-mail

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