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  Synandrospadix
From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2001.05.25 at 23:08:10(6575)
Me again,
Does anyone out there have much experience of growing Synandrospadix? The
seeds from the distribution some months ago (many thanks!!) have finally
germinated and I am wondering what the best conditions are for them . Reading
the literature about their distribution I would imagine rather hot and
subject to dryish spells, I believe they grow in rather rocky areas i.e.
rather like Dracunculus in Europe but I might be completely wrong. Any
advise/tips on the care of them when young would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Geoffrey Kibby

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From: Aroideae at aol.com on 2001.05.26 at 08:11:16(6580)
hi geoff,

treat the synandrospadix seedlings as you would any other, with a good
well-drained potting mix and normal watering. in other words, don't let them
dry out but don't keep them wet. do fertilize and you'll have nice little
tubers in a year. in the first year, they've not gone dormant on me, but once
they do, then keep them dry till you see sprouting again. they like good
light. once established beyond the seedling stage, they require heavy water
and fertilization while they're growing and prefer very good light. as to
their hardiness, i can't say. it's a fairly high elevation plant (mine is
from about 2500 m), but i haven't tried it outside the greenhouse. deni bown
lost hers to excessive cold.

lynn

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From: Susan Cooper coops at execpc.com> on 2001.05.27 at 09:13:32(6581)
Hi Geoff,
Just to add my two cents, my synandrospadix grows just fine here in
Wisconsin, zone 5. I got my seedling at the IAS meeting in Sept 2000. It
made it through the winter just fine (in the house, with not that much
light) and even survived me knocking it over and breaking off 1 of it's two
leaves. In other words, if it survives for me, it must be easy to grow!
Susan
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From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2001.05.27 at 19:46:11(6586)
Thanks to Susan and Lynn for their advice about growing Synandrospadix, they
have been duly potted up and will be cosseted, pampered and probably talked
to as well (I talk to all the rest, I am not above resorting to pleading,
encouraging and even threatening my plants to grow for me.....!). Their
germination was very strange: one seed germinated within a week of sowing,
another 2 months after, and the rest several months after that; all seeds
treated exactly the same. Anyway, I look forward to growing them on to large
flowering plants if at all possible.

Besy wishes to all,
Geoffrey Kibby

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2001.05.28 at 11:18:34(6588)
Hello Geoff (and friends)!

There is a word for life forms that do this 'delayed' act, and it is said to
be a survival strategy for life forms that have to live in extreme habitats,
of course I can not think of the word now! (maybe 'diapause'??) Several
of the folks that I sent seed of this to gave up too early and threw the
whole caboodle away after two months, but I am STILL getting reports from
people MONTHS/a year later that a seed here and a seed there continue to
germinate! Once they do germinate, they grow like weeds, the only thing
that seems to really mess them up are nematodes which infect the tuber, they
will appear as sometimes-necrotic'bulges' on the tuber when you dig it up at
dormancy. All in all, this has been a really lovely plant to grow and
observe, and like most of the South American tuberous genera such as
Taccarum ( I am STILL looking for other species besides T. weddellianum,
folks!!!!!!) it gives me a welcome 'break' from Amorphophallus! (sorry,
Lord P!!!!)

By the way, LOVE your use of the word 'cosseted', have not seen it in use in
years!

Sincerely,

Julius

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From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2001.05.28 at 19:20:54(6592)
In a message dated 28/5/01 7:19:08 pm, ju-bo@email.msn.com writes:

>By the way, LOVE your use of the word 'cosseted', have not seen it in use
>in
>years!

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From: magrysbo at shu.edu on 2002.05.08 at 15:23:12(8737)
On a 1 foot plant (OK, 'bout 15cm) is a 3 inch (OK, 12 inches to a foot, go
figure) blossom. Seed was received sometime in winter of '00/'01. Grown in
the ground outdoors last summer in temperate New Jersey next to a
Clerodendrum, I thought it had died when both were dug up and potted in
autumn. Popped back up about a month ago. Better than any photos I've seen.
Now, to figure out if the Typhonium lindleyanums which refused to not go
dormant will revive...

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From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2002.06.11 at 14:17:14(8985)
Dear aroiders,
I was at the Botanic gardens in Kew today and thanks to the kindness of the
staff there I was given a tour of the aroid houses. Among the many treasures
there, in full flower, were two magnificent specimens of Synandrospadix
vermitoxicus. The smell of the flowers was very unusual, like an intense and
concentrated mushroom odour, not particularly unpleasant and I would imagine
attractive to fungus gnats. I cant wait till my own seedlings reach such
perfection! For anyone who wishes to see the photo I took its posted at: HREF="http://members.aol.com/Geoffaroid/synandrospadix.jpg">
http://members.aol.com/Geoffaroid/synandrospadix.jpg

Best wishes,
Geoffrey Kibby

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From: "Cooper, Susan L." SLCooper at scj.com> on 2002.06.11 at 14:51:11(8987)
Nice plant and nice picture!
thanks

Susan :

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2002.06.13 at 08:37:33(8992)
Dear Geoff,

Thanks for sharing this nice photo! Just for the general information, this
looks to be a young but mature plant, this sp. can get to 3-4ft (over 1 m)
tall and about 3 ft (1 M ) wide! The one Bobby had was this size before it
was devastated by a nematode attack, it had about six or more blooms at
different stages all at one time!
Good growing,

Julius

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From: Angel Morales angel151 at earthlink.net> on 2002.06.13 at 09:39:26(8993)
What a beautiful photograph. Thanks for that treat!!!
--
Angel151@earthlink.net

From: Tony Avent tony at plantdel.com> on 2002.06.13 at 12:41:51(8994)
Julius:

Interesting that you have seen Synandrospadix reach 3-4' tall. While in
Northwest Argentina this spring, the largest specimens that we saw were
just under 2' tall. These appeared to be old mature clumps. What was the
country of origin of these 3-4' tall specimens? It would not surprise me
to see larger specimens from milder climates. It was amazing to see these
growing in dry full sun, often coming up in the middle of a heavily
traveled gravel road.

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From: Durightmm at aol.com on 2002.07.17 at 18:12:46(9112)
I recently noticed three pots of a plant I mislabeled until recently when I learned it is S. vermitoxica(?). Then I recalled that some generous soul sent me seeds for which I failed tol label. If that donor will write me privately I will personally thank you again and detail it's progress. Joe

From: "Leo A. Martin" leo1010 at attglobal.net> on 2002.09.02 at 18:52:44(9321)
Hello,

After this year's plant sale of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America (CSSA), held annually the 4th of July weekend at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, somebody on this list posted that they found a Synandrospadix vermitoxicus for sale at the Huntington booth.

I was at the Huntington on Saturday of this past weekend for the annual labor-day weekend Succulent Symposium, which this year covered succulent plants of Africa. After the daytime lectures and before dinner, Symposiasts are led to the plant sale growing area, fed chips, salsa, beer, and soft drinks to steel their resolve, and turned loose with boxes. The Huntington even has electric carts on hand to transport boxes to the parking area. I was forced to purchase several plants, among them the aforementioned Synandrospadix.

The label says:
Synandrospadix vermitoxicus
ex HBG 60297 Kimnach et al. 2809
Bolivia: Along Rio Mizque near Chujillas, 5700' in dry wash with Gymnocalycium pflanzii,
Neocardenasia, etc.

I saw at the symposium Myron Kimnach, editor of the CSSA Journal, former director of the Huntington Botanical Garden, and collector of the plant, and asked him about it. He had been on the trip with Seymour Linden, a well-known C&S collector, explorer, and personality, and board member of the CSSA.

He said the plant was in the middle of a dry, rocky and sandy wash, at the base of a large
Neocardenasia herzogii cactus, with a Gymnocalycium pflanzii cactus right next to it. There was no shade and it was very hot and sunny. The tuber was around 18 inches in diameter. He said there is a lot of water there sporadically in the summer, with some rain year-round, but much more in the summer. It loses its leaves when dormant. The flower is without smell.

Neocardenasia herzogii is a very fast-growing (3-4 feet per year here in Phoenix) and very large columnar cactus with only 6 ribs when younger, branching about 8' above the ground, and making 8" plus long spines up until it branches. Higher growth lacks spines. It is notable for forming short flowering branches at each upper areole (the felty pad from which come spines, flowers, and new growth on cacti) from which new flowers are produced each year, the flowering branches elongating with time in the manner of a Hoya. It tolerates frosts to the mid 20s F at least if the next day warms up over freezing a bit.

Gymnocalycium is a very popular genus among cactus growers and G. pflanzii is a very popular species. It has large white blooms repeatedly during the summer if watered and fed well.

Leo

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From: "Randy Story" story at caltech.edu> on 2002.09.03 at 10:49:59(9324)
Hi Leo,

Did you bring the hellish temperatures here this weekend from Phoenix? 107?
on Sunday, 104? yesterday (42? and 40? for most of the world). Ugh!!!

Actually I was the one who found the Synandrospadix earlier this summer,
although I think I mentioned it in a private response to a different subject
on the other Aroid list. At the earlier sale I saw two plants of
Synandrospadix, and I was pretty sure I remembered it was something
interesting, so I bought one. A quick search confirmed my suspicions:
Geoffrey Kibby had posted about a month earlier a link to a spectacular
photo of this plant, which he still has up:
http://members.aol.com/Geoffaroid/synandrospadix.jpg . So the next day I ran
back and picked up the other plant. Quite a few people at the sale looked
at me (or even questioned me) with puzzled expressions as to why I was
buying just a "small leaf" that didn't even appear to be a succulent. The
plants were just breaking dormancy and the larger of the two has since grown
so that (I'm guessing--I don't have it in front of me) its leaves are about
12 inches (30 cm ) including petioles. I got them for $7.50 each, which I
assume is a good price, since I don't know of anyone who sells them
commercially.

Leo, did you get the same reaction about buying the plant? Or perhaps the
crowd was more sophisticated? I just checked the Huntington site and noticed
a $70 registration fee for that symposium--so it must have been a pretty
serious group. Or were people too busy buying things to notice?

Thanks for all the info about this plant!

Randy

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From: "Leo A. Martin" leo1010 at attglobal.net> on 2002.09.03 at 14:42:47(9330)
Hello Randy,

> Did you bring the hellish temperatures here this
> weekend from Phoenix? 107? on Sunday, 104?
> yesterday (42? and 40? for most of the world). Ugh!!!

That's not hot. I almost needed a sweater. I grew up in southern California but everybody there is too soft now. Must be from too much organic produce and too many pesticides in the landscaping.

> Actually I was the one who found the Synandrospadix earlier
> this summer, although I think I mentioned it in a private
> response to a different subject on the other Aroid list.

Thanks for alerting me to the plant. I might have overlooked it otherwise, but when I saw an aroid in the sales area I knew what it had to be.

> Quite a few people at the sale looked at me (or
> even questioned me) with puzzled expressions as to
> why I was buying just a "small leaf" that didn't
> even appear to be a succulent.

Because the sale was run by the Cactus and Succulent Society of America!

> Leo, did you get the same reaction about buying
> the plant? Or perhaps the crowd was more sophisticated?

Actually, most of us were in a feeding frenzy. The beer helped, I suppose. The only reason anybody looks into somebody elses' box at such an event in the C&S world is to be sure they didn't miss something. But I'm sure the elegant crowd on this list doesn't display such degenerate behavior at plant sales.

Over the last ten years or so more and more "different" succulent (or at least xeric-adapted) plants are being grown by C&S lovers, so the people were more interested in finding out what it was and seeing if they should get one than questioning why I bought something with leaves and no visible caudex. There were only 3 in the growing area.

> I just checked the Huntington site and noticed
> a $70 registration fee for that symposium--so it
> must have been a pretty serious group. Or were
> people too busy buying things to notice?

It's a 25-year-old event. Six lectures, lunch, and optional dinner. Plus a trip to the sales-growing area, off-limits to the public. The attendance roster is usually a who's who of succulent academics, growers, explorers, hobbyists, and writers. (I mean "those who study succulents and grow them", not "thick, squishy, and waterlogged.") The fall CSSA board meeting is held the following day at the Huntington. The registration fee barely covers the costs of the event, as those of you who have managed conferences will well understand.

Such events are great opportunities to meet real experts and learn from them, as I did from Myron Kimnach. Plant people in all orders of the kingdom tend to be very approachable, friendly, and generous with their time, experience, and cuttings.

> Thanks for all the info about this plant!

You're welcome. I'm looking forward to watching it grow, too.

Leo

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From: "Randy Story" story at caltech.edu> on 2002.09.04 at 09:51:00(9334)
Hi Leo,

I somehow happened to be in Phoenix twice when they hit record temperatures
of 117? F (47? C), if I remember right, so I understand how much worse it
can get!

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From: "Benoit Mouroux" <bmouroux at hotmail.com> on 2004.02.03 at 08:13:33(11059)
hello all,

can somebody help me to find source(s) of this genus, for plants or
seeds ?
best wishes
benoit

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From: Don Martinson <llmen at wi.rr.com> on 2010.08.20 at 06:44:27(21289)
I might be interested, depending on the ultimate price, but let me post a question to the list:

I already grow a S. vermitoxicus, but seem to recall it being mentioned that it could be a bit “shy” about setting seed. Is this something which another plant (assuming they were both in bloom at the appropriate time), might improve upon? Just curious.

Don Martinson

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