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Re: Bulbs sold at Walmart

Paul K. wrote:>

>Arturo Batista sent me a picture of one plant, which certainly could be an
>ulvaceous hybrid.  It looked like a picture of the 'compact' form of A.
>crispus in Kasselmann.

I should've learned German...I'm still waiting on the English translation 
of the Kasselmann book.  Amazon.com says June, 2002.  Does Kasselmann 
indicate if the 'compact' crispus is a natural plant or a human creation?

>I have read that there are a lot of hybrids going
>around and that it is unusual to get pure A. crispus anymore.

Me too.  I've also read that the primary form of A. ulvaceus is rare and 
that most plants available are hybrids -- I think I saw that at Tropica -- 
but there was no mention of what it has been hybridized with.  I wonder if 
hybridization is done to limit the size of the plants so they're more 
suitable for aquarium use.  I also wonder if the dried tubers found at 
Walmart, etc. are actually hybrids of hybrids.

>It is
>interesting that these bulbs can be dried.  I wonder how many species of
>Aponogeton can survive drying.  I know that A. madagascariensis ( lace
>plant) can't.

I'm not sure which ones can dry out except A. crispus.  It naturally lives 
in pools that can completely evaporate during the dry season, so it stands 
to reason that it'd have the ability to "go arid".  I suppose any 
Aponogeton that comes from a similar habitat could survive drying.  A. 
ulvaceus is the only other specie I'm basically familiar with and I think 
it has to at least stay moist during nap time.  A. undulatus is the Apon 
with a rhizome, so I doubt it's able to dry out, either.

>I had A. ulvaceous once---a beautiful plant.  It produced
>lots of double-spiked flowers, but there must have some barrier to
>self-fertilization, because I never got any seeds in spite of attempts to

Interesting.  I tried watercolor brush pollination with the 
"Walmartogetons" but wasn't able to fertilize them.  Unlike you, however, I 
didn't really know what the heck I was doing so the failure is possibly 
(probably!) mine.  An interesting thing I noticed about the flowers was the 
ability of the stalks to maneuver around the surface until finding an 
opening in the canopy.  The tank had a tight fitting glass cover which only 
had notches on the back corners for tubing and cords.  The flower stalks 
would always find the holes and grow out above the canopy.  It looked like 
my tank had antennae.
Chuck Huffine
Knoxville, Tennessee