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From: Pugturd at aol.com on 1999.11.29 at 15:42:02(3880)
Hello this is Brian Williams. I first started collecting aroids 2 1/2 years
ago. I had been building ponds and waterfalls and started getting interested
in the aquatic plants. My dad took me to Georgia's Botanical garden. That is
were I first saw this 5 to 6 foot Cyrtosperma Johnstonii. I had no idea what
it was or what I was getting my self into. I asked the garden if anyone knew
were I could get one. They said they only had one and did not know were it
came from. I searched the Internet and found a letter written by Julius Boos
about plants he was interested in. I wrote him an e-mail. He said the plant
was hard to keep a live and he did not have any. I found out that Glasshouse
works had carried the plant before. So I bugged them till they sent me one
for 30.00 dollars. After that I have been an addict. Julius has told me a lot
about the aquatics and how I should take care of them and more. Dewey Fisk
and others have all helped me find the plants that I desire. Now I have a 3
foot Cyrtosperma in my room with heaters on it Urospatha in a fish tank and
all the others that I have collected in the greenhouse. It makes me happy to
see a new leaf come out. but if they are dieing it really makes me mad that I
cannot keep it alive. I thank all of you for the help. I am having bad times
right know my step father has passed away, the day after thanksgiving. I have
been spending all my time with my Mom right now. I thank everyone like Dewey
and Julius Tim Andy and the others for sending me plants. This makes me fill
good and gets my mind off other problems right now. I THANK YOU. I would
like If you read this that you can say a prayer for my mother that she can
make it. THANK YOU I am glad that I have friends on the Internet that share
the same interest even though I have never seen most of you. THANK YOU for
your help.

From: <abri1973 at wp.pl> on 2006.12.11 at 18:53:05(14917)
Hello Susan,What species is it? May I post it in www.araceum.prv.pl?If you agree, tell
me who is the copyright owner.Marek

----- Original Message -----

From: honeybunny442 at yahoo.com (Susan B) on 2008.03.04 at 16:35:09(17125)

Or whatever this big leaf is... I think Julius was looking for this photo quite a while back...
Taken at Fairchild Gardens


From: kaufmanrareplants at yahoo.com (Stanley kaufman) on 2008.03.05 at 20:17:11(17128)
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.


From: ju-bo at msn.com (ju-bo at msn.com) on 2008.03.06 at 11:00:17(17129)
> Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2008 08:35:09 -0800
> From: honeybunny442 at yahoo.com
> To: Aroid-l at gizmoworks.com
> Subject: [Aroid-l] Cyrtosperma

Dear Susan and Friends,

Susan, thanks for sharing this photo with us. It is of an unusually HUGE specimen of Cyrtosperma johnstonii, an aquatic aroid from the Solomon Islands in the Pacific, and is related to the larger, all-green specimen of another even larger (to 18 ft.!) Cyrtosperma species, C. merkusii (which is grown on some Pacific coral atols for its huge edible corm!). A wonderful plant of this species was still growing at the waterfall just down the steps from where this photo of C. johnstonii was taken.
In cultivation, C. johnstonii, which as a smaller plant is beautifully marked with pinkish/red blotches and has snake-like markings on its petioles, is said to have originated from a single collection made many years ago on Buka Island in the Solomon Islands group. As can be imagined, it reproduces VERY quickly by suckers or off-shoots, and has never been seen to produce fertile fruit in cultivation. Smaller plants are usually available for sale at the IAS show at Fairchild in September.
This and many other valuable and beautiful aroids seem to have been taken off or out of the display areas at Fairchild, and we can only HOPE that many are still in some sort of ''holding area'' at that establishment, and may sometime in the hopefully near future reappear as display subjects.
Thanks again, Susan!


From: honeybunny442 at yahoo.com (Susan B) on 2008.03.07 at 18:19:38(17131)
Hi Stan,
It is available in the US, touchy to grow unless greenhoused or warm weather location, someone told me once that if you put an ice cube in your mouth and blow on the plant, it would die! In other words, VERY cold sensitive.
That said, I originally got a specimen from the IAS show, was mistakenly called Alocasia johnstonii, or maybe that is an old name. It made it through a winter indoors in Wisconsin, planted in normal potting soil, then I planted it out and it died...
Now it is known as Cyrtosperma johnstonii, needs to sit in water or grow on the edge of water, hopefully more can chime in, as I don't grow it.... Julius knows lots about it and Dewey and Enid grow it (or grew it) as far as I know.
Wish it was easier- I love those petioles!

From: ju-bo at msn.com (ju-bo at msn.com) on 2008.03.08 at 11:33:24(17132)
> Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2008 12:17:11 -0800
> From: kaufmanrareplants at yahoo.com
> To: aroid-l at 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 spathe, some species are cork-scre
wed, 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!


Julius Boos, WPB FLORIDA

From: gartenbaureisenberger at web.de (Helmut Reisenberger) on 2008.03.09 at 01:00:10(17134)
> -----Urspr?ngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: Discussion of aroids
> Gesendet: 08.03.08 17:05:48
> An: Discussion of aroids
> CC: kaufmanrareplants at yahoo.com
> Betreff: Re: [Aroid-l] Cyrtosperma

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!

Helmut Reisenberger

From: pugturd at alltel.net (Brian Williams) on 2008.03.09 at 18:18:12(17138)
I have found that growing Cytrosperma can be quit different than other
aroids. The best results I have seen are using the following techniques.
Julius has recommended rocks in the bottom of the pots which does help
prevent the breakdown of the soil. I use a mix of sand and long fiber
moss. It holds water and air and does not break down fast. I have found
that in all situations were these plants were grown best they are
basically hydroponics systems of some form. Enid used water holding
containers with a air stone. Any aquatic system were the water is not
allowed to stagnate seems to work well. Flowing hydroponics systems seem
to work best from what I have seen. In a few greenhouses the simple
tray under the pot that holds a inch of water works well if not allowed
to dry out and water changes are frequent. Adding a aquarium heater to
any of these systems can keep the plants from dying during cooler temps
by heating the water up to 70f or more. You may get some leaf burn but
the plants roots and tubes will be protected. I find that when rot
occurs it is almost always from the cold water.

From: exotics at hawaii.rr.com (Windy Aubrey) on 2008.03.09 at 19:42:27(17142)
Hi Helmut,

I grow mine potted, but standing in shallow water and have had excellent
results with this technique.


From: RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com (RAYMOMATTLA at cs.com) on 2008.03.09 at 23:46:24(17147)
I grow mine in the way Brian describes and as Julius wrote in his article in
Aroideana. I use concrete mixing tubs sunk into the ground in the GH with
aquarium heaters. I used to use the airstones but the water evaporates so fast
in the hot greenhouse, (and with the warm water) that I have to fill the
containers up every few days and this does not allow for stagnation. If grown the
correct way these are easy plants. I have an almost 8 foot tall Urospatha
hybrid that I got as a pup from Brian years ago and numerous others that can
attest to Julius' method for growing semi-aquatics.

Michael Mattlage

From: mjkolaffhbc at earthlink.net (mike) on 1970.01.01 at 00:00:00(17150)
Greetings to all,
It was great to read both Brian Williams and Windy Aubrey's
descriptions on growing Cyrtosperma.
Here in the Chicago area, from time to time, the upscale
garden centers, and some of the specialty Tropical greenhouses,
offer this plant for sale, along with other Aroids.
There was a specimen at the Garfield Park Conservatory some years ago,in the Aroid
House of course, that was at least 10 feet tall, and perhaps 5 feet in diameter.
The plant was happily growing in the pond of that greenhouse.
That was my first introduction to this member of the Aroid family.
I do not have any Cyrtosperma at present, but my experience with the
growing technique is along the same lines. When I have grown this plant,
I have used a conventional nursery can, which in turn was placed into
a water lily tub, only partially filled with water. A different version was
to place the container directly into a pond. Another method of planting I
have used,is to put the plant directly into a water lily tub, which is
fitted with a side bottom drain. This makes emptying the tub easier.
I have experimented with various Aquatic plant media, either
for pond or aquarium plants. There are a few on the market. Here are some
of the trade names. Pond Care Aquatic Plant Media, Eco-Complete, Flourite,
and Volcanit, are just some of them. Most are composed of a neutral clay
mineral product, which will maintain a neutral to slightly acid pH.
I combine this with a small amount of modified soilless media.
This is composed of brick cut sphagnum peat moss,well aged compost,and rice hulls.
Each of these components in varying amounts. I adapted this method from growing Gunnera,
which likes moisture, but doesn't always like to have wet feet.
In theory, this mix provides organic matter, but should not contribute to rotting.
The upper strata of the container is composed of the soilless media
and the aquatic plant mix. The lower portion of the container will have
more or all aquatic media,as well as larger stones or slate chips.
I screen off the drain holes, to prevent media washing out of the container.
As has been already mentioned, water temperature is very important.
Here in a zone 5a climate, these plants must live indoors until spring
is well upon us. The more likely case is that the plant will not move outside
until May or June.
While kept indoors, I have used a submerged heater to maintain a warm
water temperature. Once outdoors,a heater is used until Summer weather warms thing up.
I found out quite early on with growing these plants, that they do not like
cold weather. However, they are a remarkable addition to any Aroid growers collection.
Here in the Midwest, we have to work a bit harder to keep our tropical plants happy.

From: samarak at gizmoworks.com (Steve Marak) on 2008.03.10 at 16:19:19(17152)
For those in the Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri area of the central US,
Bird's Botanicals has Cyrtosperma johnsonii.

I picked up a small one (10 cm. pot, the leaf blades perhaps 20 cm. but
with a meter of thorny stem) while there last November. It was immediately
named "Scratchy" by everyone who had to be in the car with it.

I can attest to its cold sensitivity, as mentioned by Julius and others.
During the unloading phase of that trip, I just put it in a corner of the
sun room until I could read up on it. The sun room gets down to about
16-18 C (60-65 F) at the edges, and within a couple of days the plant was
already showing some unhappiness.

It's now out in the center, where the temperature stays somewhat higher -
and, of course, where I'm within its reach when I'm in there.


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