Plant ID forum: Operculina aequisepala

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tropicbreeze
Jan 24, 2012 9:34 AM CST
This plant appears to have come into my place with a big load of soil I bought. All sorts of weeds have come up in it and most I just putted out. I left some very small leguminous vines and Ipomoeas. This one however started to become giant sized and I have no idea what it is. The leaves are rather pumpkin-like but a bit smaller and not so hairy.
Thumb of 2012-01-24/tropicbreeze/319182

The stem of the vine is ribbed like Winged Yam (Dioscorea alata) but also twisted.
Thumb of 2012-01-24/tropicbreeze/812b27

This is the growing tip of the vine and a newly forming leaf which looks typically like an Ipomoea.
Thumb of 2012-01-24/tropicbreeze/c2b983

This looks like flowers developing.
Thumb of 2012-01-24/tropicbreeze/dec985

More developing
Thumb of 2012-01-24/tropicbreeze/a8a1b1

There aren't any fully developed flowers yet, but hopefully I'll get photos of some this weekend and post them here.

I don't think it's a native, haven't seen anything local like it before. Hopefully someone here might recognise it, thanks.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 4:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Jan 24, 2012 10:29 AM CST
Legnephora moorei comes close, best wait until you get flowers. It might be in the same family.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackdiamondimages/4197260760/

http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswf...


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tropicbreeze
Jan 24, 2012 8:05 PM CST
Thanks Janet, hopefully the flowers will be open when I get home this weekend. I googled Legnephora moorei but in the close up photos it's quite different. It's leaves look glossier than those on my vine. Also its stems are woodier, and don't have that ribbing nor the twist. I'm still leaning towards an Ipomoea, the flowers should be a good indication of that one way or another.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 4:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Jan 24, 2012 8:15 PM CST

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It looks a lot like a gourd to me.

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tropicbreeze
Jan 25, 2012 8:00 AM CST
Thanks for the suggestion Dave, the flower should be a dead give-away for that as well.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 4:58 AM (+)]
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Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Jan 29, 2012 5:27 AM CST
Just an update on this plant. I waited all weekend for a flower to open but nothing happened. During the week while I was at work it appears 2 flowers opened (and later dropped off). I could tell by the carpels surrounding an empty space. I checked on the ground and could only find the shrivelled remains of a trumpet shaped white flower about 2 centimetres long. It was a bit too far gone to get much of an idea of ID. Over the weekend we've been having some intense monsoonal weather so that's probably why no more flowers opened. There's plenty of buds. Unfortunately I'm away at work for a fortnight again, which is when a lot of flowers will probably open.

An additional thing I noticed this weekend is that the petiole curves around like vines which don't have tendrils to assist with climbing. The petioles half curl around another object and basically hook the stem up. Like Ipomoeas, this vine doesn't have tendrils but uses its petioles to 'hook' its way up.

So I'm still leaning more to Ipomoea. The stems and leaf petioles are solid, not hollow. The way the new leaf is folded and its shape are very much like Ipomoea.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 4:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Jan 29, 2012 6:55 AM CST
I guess we will have to wait until you can get photos of the flowers Zig.

I had looked at Convolvulaceae but nothing matched up.

http://keys.trin.org.au:8080/key-server/data/0e0f0504-0103-4...

Do you know where the soil came from? I would have thought it was fairly local, it might be something not native but the likelihood of it being native seems probable.

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Feb 8, 2012 9:12 PM CST
When I got back from work yesterday as suspected there were a number of withered flowers on the ground. But there were also a lot of flower buds looking like they were ready to burst open. The plant itself, from a distance, was really looking more like a pumpkin patch, just the leaves a little smaller.
Thumb of 2012-02-09/tropicbreeze/676408

This morning, early, some of the buds were starting to open.
Thumb of 2012-02-09/tropicbreeze/a3b35f

A bit later there were several flowers open.
Thumb of 2012-02-09/tropicbreeze/8791e1 Thumb of 2012-02-09/tropicbreeze/9e3ace
Thumb of 2012-02-09/tropicbreeze/31b54c

So very definitely Convolvulaceae, although I doubt now it'd be Ipomoea. One other interesting emergent from the new soil was an Amorphophallus. It's out in the blazing sun so the leaves curl up. I'm going to put a bit of shade over it later which should make it real happy, after getting practically cooked every day.
Thumb of 2012-02-09/tropicbreeze/bb7b6c
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 4:59 AM (+)]
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Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Feb 9, 2012 7:06 AM CST
Very similar flowers to Bindweed, or Calystegia.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Calystegia&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calystegia
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Feb 9, 2012 7:24 AM CST
Merremia peltata is getting close..

http://www.comfsm.fm/~dleeling/botany/2000/vhp/merremia_pelt...

http://keys.trin.org.au:8080/key-server/data/0e0f0504-0103-4...
[Last edited by JRsbugs - Feb 9, 2012 7:26 AM (+)]
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tropicbreeze
Feb 9, 2012 11:10 AM CST
Thanks for those Janet. I checked them but the neither the Merremias nor the Calystegias have the same winged stems and petioles. And the leaves don't match, particularly with the Calystegias.

I did some further checking of our local Convolvulaceae (of which there are about 80 species) and narrowed it down to Operculina, of which there are only 4 species here:

aequisepala
brownii
sp. Cotton Island
turpethum

Couldn't find any images of the undescribed species (sp. Cotton Island) but the best match of the other 3 was O. aequisepala. It appears all the Operculinas have the winged stems and petioles. This one is native across the north of Australia, but also occurs overseas, probably South East Asia (the reference didn't say).

It's rather strange, in all the years I've been bushwalking here and the areas covered, I've never seen this plant before. It had to come to me. Rolling my eyes.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:01 AM (+)]
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Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Feb 9, 2012 11:53 AM CST
I agree, O. aequisepala looks closer than any of the others Zig.

Here's a distribution map for all species.. looks like you will have to place another search, using Query AVH then enter the genus only.

http://www.chah.gov.au/avh/avhServlet

I wonder if the seeds had remained dormant and buried, some can live for many years until they get the correct conditions.


Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Feb 9, 2012 7:12 PM CST
Janet, thanks for that link. I could only get the Australian distribution. Funny how it misses Cape York Peninsula. I wonder if that might just be a data deficiency situation.

They have a tuber, so my plant might have come from one of those. But I did leave some Convolvulaceae seedlings from what sprouted in the new soil, I remember one was interesting because it came up so much larger than usual. So it might have been that. Just hope it isn't a weedy type and tries to take over. I'm happy to have a few around. And it's interesting to have another "winged" plant. I've grown Winged Yam and Winged Bean before, and now a winged morning glory.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:01 AM (+)]
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Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Feb 9, 2012 8:15 PM CST
It is strange missing York Peninsula! It could be data deficient, or maybe there's too dense rain forest there? It says on Wiki about half the area is used for cattle grazing, I wonder if the leaves are edible so doesn't get a chance to grow.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_York_Peninsula

I'm finding plenty about the medicinal properties of O. turpethum leaves so it could be palatable.

http://www.pomics.com/iftikhar2_3_2_2010_40_46.pdf

I had a really nice propery eyed up in the rain forest there last winter when we had weeks of exceptionally cold freezing weather! Hilarious!

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Feb 10, 2012 6:10 AM CST
You could live in much worse places than Cape York. But you'd have to be able to deal with remoteness. A lot of the peninsula is savanna woodland, like here. The main rainforest is around the base, like the Daintree, and then along the ranges that run up along the eastern side. Some of the peninsula has less rainfall than here. But all the same, it's very different to what you've become used to in the UK.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:02 AM (+)]
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Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Feb 10, 2012 8:01 AM CST
Remoteness is my friend, but yes it could prove to be difficult. I even checked out the ferry services across the river and the nearest real civilisation at Port Douglas, it wasn't too far away! The property was set up for everything you needed other than food in about a hectare of Daintree rainforest, in an area where no new building is being allowed unless there's an existing structure. Near Cow Bay, it was a good price too but I think someone bought it.

I have never gotten used to the cold weather here!
[Last edited by JRsbugs - Feb 10, 2012 8:02 AM (+)]
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Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Feb 10, 2012 6:01 PM CST
I didn't realise you were actually looking that far down. Was sort of imagining something from Coen to Portland Roads, LOL. I know people who have a place in Cow Bay, about 2 hectares, but they live in Cairns (for work). They're more into cycads, but palms and other rainforest plants as well (as one does in Cow Bay). They did a thread on their place on another site. Have a look, should be interesting for you (and you'll probably kick yourself for having let the opportunity go by, LOL).
[url=www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=23272&st=0]www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=23272&st=0[/url]
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:03 AM (+)]
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Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
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JRsbugs
Feb 10, 2012 7:24 PM CST
My gosh, sounds like a lifetime of hard toil! I found the place I was eyeing up in the sold section, it sold for less than the asking price which I think was $400,000. Things went the wrong way anyway, Au$ strengthened, £ weakend, house prices here started to drop and besides that it wasn't going to be easy for me. Given enough money I think I would have jumped at it and taken the chances!

http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-qld-cow+bay-1075...

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Feb 11, 2012 12:46 AM CST
They're in their late 20's so plenty of time to get things done.That was quite a nice place you were looking at. I prefer slab on the ground, or fully elevated, the latter preferably though. And it looks like it backs onto the national park. For me that's a plus as well. The resources boom is pushing our $ higher, that does have it's draw backs.
[Last edited by tropicbreeze - Mar 31, 2012 5:04 AM (+)]
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