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Re: Funny little Green Things

Hello Jean:

> I am curious. Volvox can be beastly hard to grow when you WANT to grow it.
> There is another "odd" thing that I have occasionally found growing on the
> glass of my aquariums, and I think it is called "Plumaria." I was told that it
> is a bit like a cross between a plant and a colonial animal - it grows little
> plumes that are spaced upon a slender thread. The plumes MOVE, but the food
> supply is apparently from chloroplasts within them.

I've heard of Plumeria, but I've never even seen a picture of it. We 
can't get Volvox to grow either. We use pickled specimens to teach 
1st yr undergrads about plant diversity.
> Since we have some serious Botanists on this List, could anyone explain this
> stuff?  I was told the "Plumarea" was virtually impossible to grow in a
> laboratory setting.
There's a world of difference between laboratory culture and a 
healthy fishtank! Lab culture usually involves fertiliser, light and 
water. Its very far from the natural situation. Usually only one 
species is cultured at a time, and we go to great lengths to avoid 
contamination. In a fishtank you have a different setup. There are 
all sorts of plant (and fish!) produced substances in the water that 
can't be simply broken down into X conc PO4. A tank may not be 
natural, but its a lot closer than lab culture. 


Jacques Gerber
Botany Department
Rhodes University
South Africa

Dept Tel#: 046 6038596
Dept Fax#: 046 6225524
Home Tel#: 046 6225000