Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spathe of C. scurrilis from type locality at Indragiri found

Hi all, my explorer friend finally found a specimen of the C. scurrilis spathe growing in the wild at the type locality within the Indragiri region. Click on the link below to see it:


Does it look like any of the current so called C. scurrlis specimens found so far which have been circulated? The pronounced collar seemed to be very distinct and the limb based colour is much lighter than that of the irregular outgrows (protuberances) resulting in it having sort of a polka dot effect. Nice?

Monday, June 20, 2011

C. sp. ‘location name, number, etc’ does not necessarily mean a new species!

I have not been going for any field trips recently so I decided to write some articles about some of my thoughts and insights gathered from my few years of cryptocorynes obsession. The article below is to explain what exactly C. sp' Belitong', C. sp. 'Lingga', C. sp. 'Pahang', etc stands for in case I have managed to confuse some of you with it. The title of the article is as per stated in this blog entry's title.

C. sp. ‘location name, number, etc’ does not necessarily mean a new species!

I am lucky to be living in Singapore, a small country represented by just a tiny red dot on many world maps. However, due to its geographical location (i.e. Singapore is centrally located within South East Asia), it is easy to travel to places with abundant cryptocorynes habitats such as Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sarawak, etc from Singapore.

Secondly I am lucky to have met my explorer friend for without him, I would not have the chance to visit so many different habitats of various species of cryptocorynes found by him to take amateur photographic records of the various habitat conditions and cryptocoryne specimens found.

One of the major problems faced during my visits to these cryptocoryne habitats is that many a times I will not be able to locate a blooming specimen with a fully open spathe to aid in the correct identification of the species (i.e. there are some locations which my explorer friend or I have visited more than 10 times but we are still not able to locate any blooming specimen). It is generally very difficult to identify which known species a specimen found belongs to by just looking at the appearance of the leaves which can vary greatly even for specimens found within the same location (with the exception of maybe C. longicauda, C. thewaitesii, etc which leaves have rather distinctive characteristics). See below for one such example of the varied leaves of specimens located at one same habitat.

I have also learnt and realised that there is always a bias perception, which is: if there is a habitat which previously had certain species of cryptocorynes recorded to be found there, any specimens found subsequently at this location will be deemed to belong to the same species previously recorded (especially if no blooming specimens was found). While this is generally true, there had been some occasions where exceptions were encountered because eventually 2 or more different species of cryptocorynes were found dwelling within the same forest / swamp / river system. See below for one example of 2 different species of cryptocoryne found within the same swamp forest. Another example is C. minima and C. elliptical at Pondok Tanjung reserve forest.

Even if a blooming specimen was found, from the many photographs found on-line, you will probably agree that there are so many variations in the appearance of the spathe in terms of the shape, size and colour of the limbs / male and female flowers / etc, making it sometimes difficult to confirm which known species the blooming specimen should belongs to. See below for examples of some of such specimens in my opinion.
With all the problems listed above, instead of making wild guesses (i.e. based on just the appearance of the leaves or on the location of the habitat), my personal preference (probably some may agree while others may not agree) is generally to use C. sp. ‘area name, number representing the different locations within the same area’ to name:
  1. specimens found without a blooming specimen, even if the specimens were found at locations with previous records, or
  2. specimens found with a blooming specimen which spathe has sufficient variations from the current know species such that one cannot confidently confirm the accurate identification of species
What is important to me is to have good photographic records of as much details as possible. I prefer to then leave it to the viewers and the experts to make their own judgement and inference on which known species should such specimens belong to.

Hopefully spathes can be located soon (i.e. either through repeated visits to the habitats or through cultivation) for those specimens currently without any blooming specimens found. And hopefully, a handful of such specimens may eventually be recognized by the experts in the future to be something new (i.e. new species, new natural hybrid, new sub-species, new location record, etc). Until then, C. sp. ‘location name, number, etc’ does not necessarily mean a new species!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

C. sp. 'Sumatra - Indragiri East 3' spathe

Today I went to my friend's farm again and managed to take some photographs of a blooming spathe of C. sp. 'Sumatra - Indragiri East 3'.
I also took some photographs of a species of aglaonema from Sumatra with beautiful green camouflage coloured leaves.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

C. sp. 'Sumatra - Indragiri East'

My explorer friend collected cryptocoryne specimens from 4 locations around Indragiri East region in Sumatra recently. Out of the specimens from 4 locations, 2 of them had unopened spathes attached. He termed these 2 locations as. C. sp. 3 and C. sp. 4. from Indragiri East. We cut opened the immature spathes to take photographs in case they melt away without blooming.
C. sp. 3 'Indragiri East 3'
Fruits was found for C. sp. 'Indragiri East 3'. The olfactory bodies distinctively had 2 colours. The limb was reddish in colour and had protuberances, they looked similar to those of C. sp. 'Lingga' in my opinion. See this link for photographs of the bloomed spathe taken by my explorer friend.
C. sp. 4
C. sp. 4 was very similar to C. sp. 3, the olfactory bodies had 2 distinct colours too.
Our "free" watch dogs greeted us when we left the farm.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

C. sp. 'Kota Tinggi' flowered

After more than 2 years, my cultivated C. sp. 'Kota Tinggi' finally decided to flower again. I spotted the spathe since early May 2011 but only took a photograph of it during end May 2011 as below. The spathe had already rotated more than 90 degrees anti-clockwise since it first sprouted.
By the time the spathe bloomed, it had rotated another 180 degrees anti-clockwise. This phenomenon was not observed when compared to another cryptocoryne (i.e. C. nurii 'Central Pahang') which simultaneously flowered in the same tank during the same period.
Below are the close up photographs of the distinctive red crumpled surfaced limb of the spathe.
The red colour extended beyond the sharped folded collar down the throat.
As usual, I cut opened the kettle to take photographs of the spadix, stamens, flap (valve), appendix, pistals, styles, stigmas, olfactory bodies, etc.
When will it flower again?