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  Pycnospatha arietina
From: Mitsukiwi at aol.com on 2003.06.29 at 03:05:05(10360)
Hello Aroiders,
Can anyone give me any tips on the cultivation of Pycnospatha arietina?
I would appreciate any information on this plant.

Thanks so much in advance,


From: "Albert Huntington" amh at ieee.org> on 2003.06.29 at 06:15:26(10361)
Hi Nancy,

I keep mine on the warm side of my greenhouse - maybe 65 at
night, days 85+, humidity 60%+. Gets a medium amount of light,
but grows like it wants more. Water every day, but medium is a
loose and well draining mixture. It's in a 1 gallon pot and
flowers each year. It also goes dormant occasionally, though not
necessarily following the seasons. It puts off a ton of really
tiny tubers, which do sprout when separated from the main plant -
kind of like Dracontium.


From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2003.06.29 at 06:43:11(10362)
Pycnospatha is a real easy grower and multiplies well if you have it
established. An average potting soil is o.k.. If you start out with a
rootless tuber, wait untill you see some activity of the apical bud, then
pot and water gently. When in leaf keep moist in an average way, nothing
special. When the plant dies down, you may want to check the tuber for bad
spots but put it back in soil after that. Many thicker roots will remain and
they should not dry out. Check regularly for regrowth of the apical bud. In
case the plant flowers, that may happen before leafing out or simultaneous
with it or after it. When it flowers without leaf, just keep on watering
(average) when the flower withers. The leaf will emerge. When you take out
the resting tuber, try to avoid the offset-tuberettes to dislodge (they are
mostly at the top of the tuber as in Dracontium). Take them off when you
replant the main tuber and pot them separately. Most of them will develop
new plants.


From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2003.06.29 at 20:37:37(10363)
Dear Nancy,

Grow in well-drained rich tropical sterile (it is hurt by nematodes!!) mix, plant tuber about 2" deep, grow during the summer months from late to mid-spring till late fall if you can provide the heat it will need, grow hot, 80 degs F. plus, let dry out in fall, it will go dormant, keep soil dry or barely moist in a WARM place in winter, re-pot w/ new soil and begin a LITTLE water in late spring, water more and fert when leaf begins to show, keep soil moist but not water-logged during the growth period.
Where did you obtain the tuber?
Good luck!

From: "Peter C Boyce" levieux.jardin at wanadoo.fr> on 2003.06.30 at 07:05:05(10364)
Hi Nancy

Although I cannot add anything to the advice given by these excellent
growers that have responded to your question, I can add one small
observation about P. arietina in the wild. There appear to be two habitat
types. In SE Thailand P. arietina occurs in either permanently damp and
humid evergreen forest while in central E Thailand it is most often in
seasonally dry grassland/woodland margins.


From: "Chanrit Sinhabaedya" siamanthus at hotmail.com> on 2003.06.30 at 14:09:15(10365)
Dear Nancy,

Pycnospatha arietina are found in East Thailand where it rains in early May
to late September. I have seen them growing in the wild in varied
conditions. They grow in shady areas to areas much exposed to the sun. They
can be found in various types of soils like sandy-clay to loam and humus
rich. When growing them, they would flourish in well drained and humus rich
soils. They are very easy to grow and would flower well even in
low-nutrition soil. You will find that even a tubercle thrown into the
ground would grow well.

Chanrit Sinhabaedya

From: piaba piabinha at yahoo.com> on 2003.07.01 at 03:43:24(10367)
i received some tubers of this plant last year from
albert huntington. so far they have not sprouted
although i planted them immediately. should they be
dormant for so long?

From: Mitsukiwi at aol.com on 2003.07.01 at 23:58:02(10370)
Hi Peter,
Thank you for your interesting information. Can you tell me if the
leaves or appearance are the same on both types? Hmmm...I wonder which type I
have!!! :)
From: Mitsukiwi at aol.com on 2003.07.02 at 00:03:03(10371)
Thank you all for the wonderful response to the request for cultivation and
habitat information for this plant!!!

I knew I could count on the great people on this list. :)

Many thanks again!


From: "Peter C Boyce" levieux.jardin at wanadoo.fr> on 2003.07.02 at 06:29:47(10372)
Hi Nancy

In the wild plants from the monsoonal east are smaller in all their
vegetative dimensions and the leaf divisions are finer and, well, more
divided. The largest plants I have seen from th east are a shade under 1.5
metres tall in mature leaf.

Plants from the per-humid south are very robust - I have seen them with
leaves to 3 metres tall with a blade 1.5 metres in diameter. I known that
Wilbert has plants from the south and I am pretty sure that he also has
plants from the east, perhaps he could comment whether these size and leaf
division observations from the wild remain stable, or not, in cultivation.

Hope this is if interest


From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2003.07.04 at 13:36:59(10374)
Dear Pete,

I thought (I was mistaken!) that Nancy was asking about the second species of Pycnospatha, (P. palmata from the North, discussed in Bogner (1993c) )?), but I am not certain if this is still a 'good' species. I was not aware that there was this variation in the two populations of P. arietina you mention, interesting stuff!
Hopefully Wilber will enlighten us somewhat further!

The Best,


From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2003.07.06 at 16:15:23(10377)
Hi Julius<<

Hello Pete,

Yes, I felt certain that P. palmata was a 'good' species, the two populations of P. arietina that differ one from the other for a moment had me a little confused!.
Many years ago Josef sent me a copy of his 1973 paper reviewing this genus, and from this paper I obtained the collection data on P. palmata. I gave this information to friends who were traveling and collecting in those areas, and lo and behold they managed to collect substantial quantities of this rare species! I believe that most if not all the plants now in cultivation in the U.S.A. are from that one collection.
This genus seems very prone to nematode damage, so all of you out there growing it take care!
It is indeed a shame that Josef is not 'on' e-mail, he is a wealth of invaluable information.

Thanks again,

The Best,


From: Mitsukiwi at aol.com on 2003.07.07 at 03:26:36(10381)
Thanks again Peter.

I appreciate the additional info.


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