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joossa

Aklys
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Is 6" not enough depth?
I would go deeper. :)

7/10/08- Today, temperatures dropped. With this drop came high winds and monsoonal moisture. The winds were tough. Luckily the plants held up well. Some of them did get pushed over and ended up leaning over on account of their massive size.

7/11/08- Plant #4 is now growing its first claw. I guess my hand pollination attempts are working. :) Multiple flowers are in bloom today, and again I continue to pollinate. Plant #6 is getting quite big now, looking as bulky as the adults. I don't know what's wrong with plant #5. It seems to continue is growth lag. The younger ones are catching up to #5 and soon will be bigger.

7/12/08- More winds today! The plants are taking it okay, but they are staring to tilt as the wind hits them. I added some more soil to the patch, putting emphasis on and around the main stems of the plants in hopes of providing more support.

The claw on plant #1 is now a couple of inches long. Its stem is pretty long, and therefore the claw is very close to the ground. Hopefully, it won't grow to the point where it comes in contact with it. I am afraid it may rot if provided with prolong contact with the wet soil.

I found a caterpillar on the younger plants that are located in the patch. They are also beginning to show damage. Unfortunately, I will not be able to provide the second systemic insecticide treatment as planned because we are expecting monsoonal thunderstorms all throughout tomorrow and into Monday morning. So it will have to wait until Monday night.

One last observation: I have noticed that plant #1's flowers are darker than the other plant's flowers. This is especially true in the two top petals. They are coming up very dark pink and almost maroon in color, and with that yellow nectar trail they are total beauts!

7/13/08- Plant #2 is now growing its first claw. Nothing else to report.

7/14/08- I treated the plants with a second application of insecticide. This time I treated all the plants in the patch. The smaller ones had a couple of caterpillars, while the larger ones looked fine. Remember that I treated the larger ones a couple of days earlier, so they are probably still resistant to attack. For any of you that might do this, I highly suggest one of those hand pump sprayers. My hand got tired using the spray bottle on all of the plants.
 

jimscott

Tropical Fish Enthusiast
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Western New York
A couple days ago, in a D. palaceae pot, a Devil's Claw seedling emerged. How a seed got there in the first place is beyond me! I transplanted it out back. It already had a root system that was ~2" long!

One of the Claw seedlings in the planter looks to be forming a flower in the crown, as opposed to just a mass of leaves. Seems strange that a 6" tall plant that did get its start outside would be doing that now.
 

jimscott

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Guess what!? That flower bud opened up. It is pinkish purple and as soon as I can convince a co-worker to lend me a camera...

Two other plants are also showing a bud. They are small plants, totally grown outside, in direct sunlight. Should I cut off the first flower?
 

joossa

Aklys
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
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Location
Southern CA, USA
Great to hear you finally have some flowers! Why do you want to cut off the first one? Here is what I wrote in another topic regarding fruiting in small plants:

I have read that it is recommended to cut off early flowers (or at least after they bloom) because of incidents where the fruit becomes too heavy and brings down and snaps the young plant's stem. Once the plant has grown more, letting flowers go on to fruiting won't make it too top-heavy.

It's more of a personal choice as you will have to deal with some risk. Since you are still growing yours in a planter I would go for it. Your plants may not get the chance to get uber-big...

I have a similar situation with one of my pants. I will write about it in my next entry.
 

joossa

Aklys
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Messages
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Location
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7/19/08- Today, plant #6 flowered for the first time. Two flowers popped up at the same time on this plant, in fact. Last week's insecticide treatment went well. No plants showed signs of damage (from the treatment) and the smaller ones are no longer hosting caterpillars.

7/20/08- This past week has been a week of multiples. Multiple meristems, multiple leaves, multiple flowers, and multiple claws. I must say the claws are larger than I expected them to be. I have about 5 mature-looking fruit on plants 1, 2, and 4 in addtion to the ones that are coming up. The fruit are extremely sticky. I'm talking slug-mucus sticky. If touched, the slime will stick everywhere, hands, tools, hose, clothes. And boy does the slime sink like @#$%! Now, I'm not a man that curses very often, but the crap is 100% foul and macabre to the olfactory. :puke: None of the fruit have begun to loose their fleshy green portion or split open.

I continue to pollinate an average of 5 to 8 flowers per day as the larger plants keep sending them up. Now, I can say with much more confidence that the flowers stay in bloom for only 24 to 48 hours. This should be applied with the fact that they are pollinated within that time frame. Once the flower has fallen off or shriveled up (which they sometimes do instead of falling off), the fruit will begin to appear as soon as 48 to 72 hours later.

All of the plants continue to be sticky, but unfortunately I have not seen their pseudo-carnivorous attributes in action. The only thing I have seen get stuck on the plants is the air borne seed of other plants, like those of dandelions, nothing else.

I want to mention plant #10 for those of you that are interested in reading about keeping these plants in pots. #10 is in a rather small pot. The pot is approximately 4 inches across and 5 inches in height. Soon, I will move it to a slightly bigger pot and plan to keep it in there until the season ends. Plant #10 is considerably small when compared to other plants that are in the ground AND share a similar germination date. Lets look at plant #11, for example. Both 10 and 11 germinated on the same day, but 10 germinated in its pot and (if you recall) 11 germinated in the ground. 10 is still inside its pot and 11 is still growing in the ground. If we compare both plants (as of today), number 11 is MUCH bigger than number 10. It has grown more leaves, has a huge, thick stem, and has several meristems. This might indicate (like with other plants) that if one limits the space they have to grow, the individual plant may be small in comparison to plants that are given the required or unlimited space to grow. Although it's small, plant #10 is now showing a flower cluster at its only meristem, showing that although it is not as big as its siblings it will flower. In the future, I will mention this plant again and report how many times it flowered and produced fruit compared to the plants that are in the ground.

7/21/08- I finally got an opportunity to take some pictures. I used white paper in some of the pictures in order to make the claws easier to see (more distinct).

Some flowers on plant #4:

pp07.jpg


The entire patch (front view):

pp08.jpg


The patch (side view):

pp03.jpg


Lucy VS. The Devil's Claws:

pp05.jpg


Claws and flowers at different stages (on plant #4). From left to right you can see an unopened flower on the far left, the bare style + stigma after the its flower fell off, a shriveled, spent flower (blurry), a baby claw, another shriveled flower with claw emerging, a near-mature claw underneath, and a developing claw on the right.:

pp02.jpg


The first claw (on plant #1). This is my biggest one. Also note the early caterpillar damage on the leaves(bottom right).:

pp04.jpg


Plant #10 (note its flower bud). Also plants 13 and 14 in their pots.:

pp06.jpg


More claws and flowers on plant #2:

pp01-1.jpg


Enjoy! :)

7/22/08- Plant #10 has now flowered, and I went ahead and I pollinated it.
 

jimscott

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I don't have anything remotely resembling the 'patch'. What I have is just like #10. A second flower bud is emerging from the one plant while other plants are budding. I hope to procure a camera today. Aren't my plants a little too young or too small to flower? I think they're all junior high age...
 

joossa

Aklys
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^Looking great, Jim! :) (Lovely Sarrs, BTW!)


7/24/08- Just a couple of observations on the fruit. I hesitate to call them claws yet because they have not split, showing their "claw" characteristic. At first, the fruit emerge and are rather straight. Then as the portion containing the seed capsule gets bigger, the claw portion bends and forms an almost 90 degree angle with the seed capsule portion. As the whole thing grows (about 15 days after the fruit emerges) the entire fruit finally curves and gets the signature look.

This is all BEFORE the fruit ripens and begins to split. The proper term for this to dehisce, which refers to ripe fruit splitting/opening in order to release seed. Wikipedia has a great picture of Martynia annua (a close relative of Proboscidea) fruit dehiscing. The fruit pictured are much smaller than the fruit of Proboscidea or Ibicella, but they do split to some extent. Here is the link to picture:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Martynia_annua_MS4207.JPG

My biggest claw is about 9 inches long and it took a little over three weeks for it to reach this length.

Lastly, plant #13 is now dead. It was a very slow grower and it wasn't doing so well.

7/25/08- #10 got its first fruit today. #11 is now in bloom for the first time. I moved plant #10 from its small pot to a slightly bigger pot. I will leave it here until the season ends. Lastly, I added more slow release fertilizer to the patch, especially towards the front where the younger plants are located.

7/31/08- As of today, all of my plants have bloomed at least once and have at least one fruit, except for plant #12. Like #13, #12 is a slow grower and doesn't look so good.

I updated that pesky data table. :) I tried my best to acquire accurate measurements and counts. Since the patch is so big, leaves from different plants are overlapping each other, some plants are literally overtaking others, and some fruit seem to be hidden away in the mini jungle. Because of all this, I found it difficult to get some counts and measurements, so some of the data entries will be approximations.
Because of the reasons stated above, I also decided to throw out the "Number of Leaves" and "Longest Leaf" data columns. Working to see which leaf belongs to which plant is a daunting task. If you want to see data on either of these two features, please see the previous data table from entry 7/9/08.

Please click on the thumbnail below to see the table:
 

joossa

Aklys
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Location
Southern CA, USA
Under my conditions the fruit begins to emerge anywhere from 3 to 5 days after the flower has shriveled and/or fallen off. It takes up to two weeks for the fruit to get to a good size, though.
 

joossa

Aklys
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Messages
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Southern CA, USA
^Probably not.

8/4/08- I found more caterpillars today. So, I prepared some more systemic insecticide and sprayed away.

The summer days are flying by. The plants are getting bigger and bigger each day. I had to remove one of the fence boarders from the patch because the plants were pushing up against it and some of the foliage was getting squished and damaged. I am using three fence segments around the perimeter of the patch to keep my little dog out. Heavens knows what she'll do if she manages to get in there. If you look at the picture of the patch from the previous entry, I removed only the right fence piece. This piece was not essential in keeping my dog out. The other two pieces are adjacent to the yard, whereas the piece I removed is adjacent to the side of my house where my dog never has access to.

8/10/08- Hmmm... same old, same old. More flowers and claws. None of the fruit have split yet.

8/15/08- ^Ditto. :rolleyes:

I think I am going to stop watering daily and only water every other day from now on.




8/17/08- Hmmm... the watering every other day didn't go so well. The day I after I began the new watering pattern, the leaves lost their turgidity and became floppy. So, I am sticking to the daily watering routine at least until the summer is over.

I also treated the plants with another round of insecticide as more caterpillars keep popping up.
 

jimscott

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I've got 2 gourd-like fruits developing with more flowers blooming. The Ibicella lutea puts out more flowers than the P. parviflora.
 

joossa

Aklys
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8/23/08- Mantid season has begun for me, and between that and my other hobbies, my job, and school just around the corner I have had limited time to post over the last couple of days.

We have had cooler weather and heavy winds. The winds managed to do some minimal damage to the plants. First, one of the major stems from plant #2 was bent dramatically. It was pushed over by the wind and ended up leaning on the rest of itself. This was a couple days ago.

Today, the largest stem on plant #1 that was at least 3.5 feet tall bent over as well. This stem was huge and had multiple claws, flowers, and leaves on it. With the high winds, I knew it was just a matter of time. The entire thing fell over and ended up situated down the middle of the entire patch. The good thing is that none of the stems actually snapped and none of the fruit were damaged.

Again I want to mention plant #10. This is the plant that I left in the pot. To put it simply, it's not doing so well. I don't know if I am over watering it or if it's another factor(s). The plant has no foliage and its one fruit is still quite small and yellowish. I am worried that it will soon croak.

8/25/08- Finally! After a very long wait, my first fruit is now ripe and dehiscing. This fruit is the very first one that ever appeared this season and is located on plant #1. It is not as big as the ones that were later produced, but it's still pretty good sized.

A couple of days ago the fruit began to darken in color and the tissue on the curved portion began to get skinny. Today I found that the fruit is now splitting. There was a split in the fleshy tissue of the seed pod portion and another little one in the "claw" portion. As a result, the hard, dark seedpod is now partially visible. I am planning to leave the fruit attached to the plant until the fleshy fruit tissue is completely gone. Once that occurs I will harvest it.

*Hums the Final Fantasy battle victory theme song.*
lol.gif



Thanks for reading.

-Joel
 

joossa

Aklys
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
2,049
Location
Southern CA, USA
How long does it take for the fruit to fully develop? Will it be done before the snow flies?

Well, the fruit that is now splitting is the one that I mentioned in entry 7/7/08, so about seven weeks for that one. I wouldn't worry, there's still plenty of time. :)

Jim, how big are your fruits now? Do you still have all of your plants in that planter? I am interested in knowing if potted plants will grow smaller fruit. I only have one plant that is potted and it seems to be dieing now, so I won't know if the fruit that it has had the potential to grow bigger....
 

jimscott

Tropical Fish Enthusiast
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One parvifora has a fruit that is 2.75" long and the other, a younger one, measures 3". I also have flowering I. lutea but only one fruit is developing at the moment and it is ~1/2". I have nothing to compare the planter with but they do germinate and flower. Hopefully, this will be more than a learning experience.
 

joossa

Aklys
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Messages
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^Oh, your fruit size is about the same as the one that belonged to my potted plant (#10). Can you later post if they get any bigger?


8/25/08- Some bad news rolling in. Plant #10 has died. I came home from school and found that its small fruit had fallen off. The stem was dark and shriveled. At the moment I don't know if the fruit was ripe or near-ripe. Since the fruit is still tender, I am going to leave it on the table in the sun and see what happens tomorrow.

8/26/08- Holy smokes!!! Boy am I happy! :) This afternoon after getting home, I went out to check on my plants. After checking my CPs I went to check the fruit I left out in the sun (from plant #10). The entire thing had shed the fruit skin/tissue. The fruit skin came off in four portions and the claw was left! The claw is about 2.7 inches from stem to the longest claw tip. NOTE: Whenever I give claw length in the future, it will refer to the length from the claw's stem to the longest claw tip, accounting for the curve of the claw.

Since this fruit was small, the claw itself did not have a curve. It was also less woody and less dense than I first thought it would be, again probably due to the possibility that it may be underdeveloped. Along the ventral side, the claw has a line of short and sharp spine-like projections. The claw itself is very sharp. I later opened up the claw, which was easy to do probably due to its size and due to the fact that its capsule was not dense at all.

The claw yielded a total of 11 seeds. All of the seeds seem smaller when compared to the seed I used earlier in the season. However all of them are white and seem fine, except for their size. There was also some undeveloped seed in there that were tiny and dark in color. Obviously these are not viable.

Secondly, I decided to harvest the claw on plant #1. The claw has now split entirely, but the fruit skin remains, although it is mostly dry and leathery to the touch. This one seems to be average size, being about 11.75 inches long. I will be keeping this claw inside and allow it to dry and to further split open. I don't want to risk leaving it outside and have any critters stealing the fruits of my labor. Later, I will open up the claw and count seed.

Since the patch has become quite dense I decided to check closely and see if any further fruits have begun to ripen. I tried to look carefully at the lower portions of the plants, as this is where their oldest fruits are located. Remember how I posted that the huge branch on plant #1 had fallen? Well, this cleared a big area towards the rear of the patch, allowing me to get a great view of plant #2. As I searched, I took advantage of this new opening and BINGO! There it was… a huge fruit on the center stalk on plant #2 was also dehiscing. I went in for the harvest.

As I got closer, I saw that it had split dramatically. In fact this one was multi-clawed, having four individual hooks! As I pulled the claw, the loose fruit skin fell of with ease. Again, like the fruit from plant #10 the skin came apart in four portions. As I continued to pull and twist it off the plant, the thing got my arm and gave me a good scratch. Carefully when working with these things, boys and girls you could loose and eye… or two!

Anyway, I got it off and saw that the seed pod portion was starting to split open as well, exposing the lower seeds. The seeds were so close to the opening, that if I would had left it in the patch any longer I would have lost some of the seed. The approximate length of this claw is 12 inches. Now this one looks like the real thing. It's diabolical looking with all the signature characteristics. Its hard, woody, dark, and the claw portions are flexible unlike the claw from plant #10. I have no seed count yet as I am letting it dry out as much as possible before opening the capsule.

As I was inspecting the claw at my desk later at night, two seeds fell out.

Overall, I'd say this was a great day! I am going to contact Evin to see what is the best way to store the seed so I can use them for next season and of course, give some away!


8/27/08- (morning) The claw from #1 split some more overnight. The fruit skin became so loose that it practically fell of when I handled the claw this morning. The claw from #2 also seems to have split a bit more as I can see deeper into the seed capsule.

I did some additional web searching and found two blog sites that mention the claws. One shows how some of them are used as decorations. Overall they are both short and fun reads with great pictures. Here are the links:

http://jsiegeldesigns.blogspot.com/2008/03/devils-claw.html

http://pudgeduck.blogspot.com/2008/02/devils-claw.html


I want to get some new pictures of the patch and the new claws. So look out for them some time in the near future!

Thanks!
-Joel
 

jimscott

Tropical Fish Enthusiast
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The smaller, and older fruit doesn't have a claw. It just looks like a gourd. The other fruit seems to have the classic look to it. still quite green, with some red.
 
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