Sunday, August 30, 2009

C. sp. 'Lingga 11' flowers

My friend recollected some C. sp. 'Lingga 11' spathes too and I had a chance to photograph them. You can go to his blog to see the photographs of the natural habitat of this locality.

Below are some close up shots of the upper and underside of the leaves. The edges of the leaves are wavy and the leaves are generally green in colour.

The colour of the limb of the spathe is golden yellow and covered with protuberances. If you looked closer, the golden yellow limb is covered with tiny red spots too. The collar is red in colour.

We cut open the kettle to expose the male and female flowers as shown below.

C. sp. 'Lingga 6' flowers

My explorer friend went back to Lingga Island recently and located some new cryptocoryne habitats as well as collected some spathes of cryptocorynes from locations he found previously. I had the honour to be invited to take some photographs of some of these spathes.

The photographs featured below are for C. sp. 'Lingga 6'. The limb is yellow in colour and covered with protuberances, similar to many of the cryptocorynes found on Lingga Island. There is a distinctive red collar present too. My friend also termed this as 'bi-colour', you can see his blog for more photographs of its natural environment.

The front and underside of the leaves:

The immature spathe:

The matured spathe with folded limbs, maybe due to disturbance during transportation?

The kettle was cut open to reveal the male and female flowers as usual:

Is this a new species / varieties or should it be regarded as an existing species / varieties? We shall let the experts decide.

C. uenoi 'Sabal Kruin'

By the time we reached Kampong Sabal Kruin area, it was just before sunset. If you search for C. uenoi on the Internet, you would find many references (i.e. on collectors' blogs) of C. uenoi originating from Sabal Kruin in Sarawak.

Another reason why I wanted to locate this was because my C. uenoi 'Sabal Kruin' in my collection recently suddenly melted and died. Locating this would allow me to better understand their natural habitat in order to hopefully grow them better next time.

It was already considered dark by the time we reached Kampong Sabal Kruin area where C. uenoi supposedly could be found, as can be seen from the photographs shown below.

Luckily I still managed to spot a bunch of cryptocorynes gowing submersed inside the river despite the darkness.

The river base was sandy and the pH of the water was about 6.5.

Below are some close up shots of the leaves, I think the photographs might had turned out better if I had used flash.

As it was really too dark to continue our hunt, we did not bother to try to search for other patches of cryptocorynes there to locate a spathe to confirm the identity. I hope those people who previously located specimens in Sabal Kruin area had already found spathes to confirm that those cryptocorynes were really C. uenoi, and that only one species of crpytocoryne (i.e. C. uenoi) could be found growing at the location.

We called it a day and ended our findings for my 1st trip to Sarawak. We passed by our targeted last location, Kampong Kerait area where C. ferruginea supposedly could be found, on our way back without stopping as we were not armed with torch lights.

C. longicauda 'Pantu'

Firstly before I write about my experience with C. longicauda 'Pantu', I must apologise for the bad quality photographs posted below. Yes, it is not you who are having blurry vision, it is the photographs that are blur.

Pantu in Sarawak was a special area where I always wanted to visit because the C. longicauda found there had reddish coloured leaves. In fact, the 1st wild cryptocoryne which I killed was exactly C. longicauda 'Pantu'!

However, time was not on our side. The sun was setting and we were still targeting to visit 3 locations to locate the cryptocorynes found there and 'Pantu' was the immediate next one we were heading to. To make things worse, it started to drizzle a little. The lighting level and drizzle sort of affected all my photographs' sharpness, which I did not realised until I reached home and reviewed them.

We found a peat swamp forest in Pantu. As it was getting dark and starting to drizzle, my explorer friend and me hurried into the forest towards separate ways to hunt for the red C. longicauda.

However, as the interior of the forest was a little dark already due to the time and the weather, we could not locate / distinguish the C. longicauda from the forest litter which was also reddish in colour. Instead, my friend found the C. longicauda in the ditch separating the road and the forest when he exit from the forest after sinking thigh deep into a soft part of the swampy forest bed (I did not hear his cry for help! :-p).
The forest bed was soft and muddy and the pH was around 4.5 or lesser, typical for peat swamp forest.

The C. longicauda specimens found in the ditch were quite gigantic in size and had quite big leaves as shown below.

Again, we found an unopened spathe to confirm the identification of the cryptocorynes as C. longicauda.

Similar to at Betong area, I found specimens of C. longicauda with elongated leaves, different from the usual ovate shape with cordate base. Could it be due to the natural environment with perhaps some water flow resulting in the leaves becoming elongated?

We hurried off quickly after C. longicauda 'Panyu' and sped towards the last 2 target locations in a race against time.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

C. longicauda 'Betong'

We found a peat swamp forest with a stream inside at Betong area in Sarawak which "felt" exactly like the one we found in Rompin filled with C. cordata. The stream had barclaya growing inside it and barclaya was a good friend of cryptocoryne in our opinion as they were frequently found together.

However, my friend "disturbed" some locals bathing in the stream when he ventured into the forest and we decided to proceed on to another area first. However, after driving for a while, we kept discussing that the forest definitely had cryptocorynes inside and giving it a miss would be a waste and thus we headed back.

We were right! After bashing deeper in, we found an entire carpet of emersed cryptocorynes covering the soft ground of the swamp forest. The shape of the leaves looked like that of C. longicauda and we soon managed to locate some unopened spathes to confirm their identification.

This was the 1st time I located C. longicauda in the wild. I was quite surprised to find out that the leaves of C. longicauda could be elongated too instead of the usual ovate shape with cordate base.

As expected, the forest base was made up of soft mud and the pH was about 4.5 or lesser.