Aroids forum: Cyrtosperma merkusii

Views: 1564, Replies: 10 » Jump to the end

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Mar 10, 2012 7:14 AM CST
Thought it would be good to get a thread on Cyrtosperma merkusii going. This is my larger plant. It's growing better this year than last. The problem last year seemed to be that it was in too deep water. We had an above normal wet season and where it was planted the water used to sit too high. During the dry season I raised it up by putting more soil under it.

This year we've had the opposite for the wet season. Well below normal rainfall. So the C. merkusii has spent very little time in deeper water. My second plant is going into a large pot with no drain holes. This pot is being set into the ground At the moment I''ve filled it with soil, old charcoal and compost. Waiting for 3 weeks before planting in it.Will be good ro see how well it does compared to the other. The other is larger to start with though.


[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:10 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #225102 (1)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Mar 10, 2012 4:25 PM CST
This is this morning's photo, after torrential rain last night. The water level is up but still only just around the base of the plant - soil level. It's had about 10 hours to go down from a higher level following the rain.

Thumb of 2012-03-10/tropicbreeze/6167f2
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:09 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #225309 (2)
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Mar 11, 2012 12:15 AM CST
Amazing plant! and it looks happy.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Image
eclayne
Mar 11, 2012 8:53 AM CST

Plants Admin

Beautiful growth habit Zig. Is merkusii a native? Is it a standard food crop? After reading your post about some Alocasia being food crops it's a question I keep thinking about.
Evan

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Mar 12, 2012 2:53 PM CST
Jonna, they get up to 5 metres tall. I will be impressed with that, fingers crossed.

Evan, it's not native here. I think New Guinea and Micronesia. It was commonly grown on coral atolls in the freshwater lens. Because freshwater and saltwater tend to form layers, rainwater on coral atolls sinks through the sand and forms a freshwater layer on the saltwater. The small tides push the layers up and down but there's very little mixing. This has allowed survival of people on these islands that are relatively barren food and water wise. The islanders would dig down into the sand to the water layer and plant their C. merkusii. These wells also provided drinking water. Diets were limited to virtually only these plants, coconuts and fish. And growing of these plants became steeped in mysticism and ritual. The practice died away a lot with the coming of foreign influences and food.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:09 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #226106 (5)
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Mar 12, 2012 4:02 PM CST
5 meters!! Wow! All stems coming from the base or does it form a trunk? Interesting about the growth on atolls. I've seen the haloclines where fresh and salt water mix diving in the caves and lagoons formed by fresh water outlets here. It is amazingly clear, the line between the fresh and salt water. You are swimming along, suddenly everything is blurry and out of focus, drop another few feet and the water is crystal clear again. The roots of local alocasia are eaten here as well, the most common one for food and for gardens is called 'malanga' and probably comes from the Philippines.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Mar 12, 2012 9:23 PM CST
Mine are about 1.5 metres at the moment, so still a little way to go. They have a large tuber underneath, hence the common name Giant Swamp Taro.

It's in that mixing zone that the blurriness occurs. The light refracts differently with the two. There's several aroids that are eaten, some take a lot of special preparation to make them edible.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:08 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #226285 (7)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Mar 14, 2012 1:28 AM CST
Had a lot more rain overnight from a developing cyclone off the coast. Water level went right up, and of course it's flooding in a lot of places. I got 124.8 millimetres in the 12 hours to midday and it still keeps coming. The C. merkusii has more than enough water, it's sitting in 350 millimetres now. The flood debris that can be seen on the leaves on the right in the photo show the water had been up to 650 millimetres deep.


[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:08 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #226769 (8)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Mar 19, 2012 9:35 AM CST
I'm away from home at work and won't be back for a few days yet. But following the weather on the internet it's been raining a fair bit at home and most likely the Cyrtosperma is still sitting in deep water. When I get back it will be time to plant my other C. merkusii. The large pot has had it's mixture of vegetation and soil "brewing" for 3 weeks now. In Micronesia the tubers were placed in baskets filled with leaves of various plants so it was a completely organic medium. There were specific plants used with attention to right order of layers of different vegetation and leaves laid down in very specific patterns. Along with rituals performed at the time, the exact details were family secrets.Mine just have to take their chances with randomly selected plants laid out randomly with no ritual and in a plastic pot instead of a basket. But I'm still hopeful of good results. The difference in this method and how the larger plant in the pond grows should be interesting.

Plant in a pond awaiting transplant (photo taken just after heavy rain).
Thumb of 2012-03-19/tropicbreeze/3e381d

Pot in the ground but raised just a little to prevent other roots getting in.
Thumb of 2012-03-19/tropicbreeze/be7a09
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:07 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #229366 (9)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Mar 21, 2012 11:27 PM CST
Today the smaller C. merkusii finally went into its new home. It's been a mix of a day. Some sun, some rain, but overall very humid. A perfect time for planting out this one. Now I have to organise similar set ups for my Cyrtosperma johnstonii, Cyrtosperma cuspidispathum and Urospatha grandis.

Thumb of 2012-03-22/tropicbreeze/47b5a3
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:07 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #230793 (10)

klaus07
Jun 23, 2012 6:14 PM CST
Oh poi Green Grin! now you just need a Lasia spinosa and you will have all the thorny giants. I live in Ohio and my giant aquatic aroids are limited to Cryptosperma johnstoneii and Lasia spinosa. I like them alot and it will be interesting how they far in the winter indoors. How are they doing now? I am thinking you live south of the equator.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Aroids forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "French Marigold"