Sunday, September 20, 2009

C. cordata var. cf. grabowskii 'Lundu'???

The next morning, we woke up early to have breakfast at an Indian cuisine shop near to our hotel. Breakfast was simply 2 prata "kosong" (kosong = zero, and in this context referred to plain without any fillings) with a cup of kopi 'O' kosong ice (kopi = coffee, O = similar sounding to the word "black" in Hokkien dialect, kosong in this context referred to plain without sugar).

Soon we were on our way towards Lundu. Along the way, we saw a huge forested area and decided to park the car along the road and bash into the forest to see what we could find inside.

We were greeted by this beautiful blooming terrestrial orchid (I searched on the Internet and thought it looked like Tainia paucifolia??? Let me know if I identified the species wrongly. Thanks.)
We found out that the inside of the forest was rather undulating with wet grounds on the low level areas. We passed by a few humps and crossed a few small streams in which we only managed to locate some barcalya. This was actually a good sign as from our experiences, locating barclaya in forests usually meant that cryptocorynes should be able to be found too!

After a while, we passed by yet another valley which was quite brightly lit due to the logging activities (illegal?). From this point we crossed another hump and was suddenly greeted by a huge stream hidden in the forest. I scooped in the water with my net to see what I could find in the stream: some shrimps and loaches.

We trekked along the river upstream until the river started to become narrower. However we could not located any cryptocorynes at all. Feeling slightly disappointed, I told my friend that we should perhaps just make our way out of the forest and continue our search elsewhere because if there were any cryptocorynes to be found here, it would definitely be along this river but there were none to be found.
My friend suddenly pointed at my legs and exclaimed: "There lah! You blind arh?"

Under the log which I was balancing on was a patch of submersed cryptocorynes which I had totally missed out. I really don't have enough hunting sense!

We fished out some specimens to have a closer look and found one with attached spathe which was not opened yet.

Below are the close up shots of the leaves.

The spathe was long and had a limb with pointed thin tip. From our recollection, we vaguely remembered that C. cordata var grabowskii had a limb with very narrow thin grey tip and we thought that what we found might be comparable to it.

The river bed was formed by a mixture of mud and dead plant materials but the pH of the water was surprisingly about 5.5 to 6.0. I expected the pH to be closer to 5.0 to 5.5 instead. Perhaps the stream was quite close and connected to a brackish river further downstream?

I collected the specimen back home hoping that it would bloom in my tank but was disappointed when I saw the limb melting after a few days.

I tried to salvage the situation by attempting to cut open the melted limb. It was quite clear to deduce that the colour of the limb should had been yellow base, similar to that of C. cordata.

Luckily the kettle portion was still intact for me to cut open to view the interior. The upper internal kettle wall had purple spots. I could not find a decent photograph of the interior of C. cordata var. grabowskii kettle on the Internet to compare with mine. Whichever variety this cyptocoryne might be, I think it should at least fall under the C. cordata group? I hope it will flower again in my tank for me to confirm.

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