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joossa

Aklys
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May 9, 2006
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Southern CA, USA
joosa,

Did you get these from the ICPS? Thats were i got mine, and they are COMPLETELY different! My I. lutea are the ones making 16" claws, not P. louisianica! They are making measly little 1"-6" ones! And in both species, the seeds have a hard outer black shell. The white seed you have is on the inside...very very interesting. Great looking plant btw, and nice little help tool!

Hey obregon, I did not get my seed from the ICPS. I got them from Evin (allegedhuman). Are you 100% sure they got the labeling correct? I have read minor accounts and records online that people have labeled Ibicella lutea as Proboscidea lutea and vice versa, which is completely wrong. :angry: In addition, when I was doing lots of reading back when I began growing these, some sites would say the the two genera are synonymous! Talk about confusion! :rant:

Ibicella almost always produces smaller claws than Proboscidea under natural and ideal growing conditions. The seed pods of Ibicella are hefty, round, and "hairy" while the seed pods of Proboscidea are long, stretched, oval-shaped, and fairly smooth. See the attached picture I got from sarracenia.com to compare the claws. The one on the left is Ibicella and the one of the right is Proboscidea.

The white seed variety of Proboscidea is domesticated (AKA var. hohokamiana). It was selected and developed by O'odham Indians for claw length and ease of germination in order to use the fibers of the claws in basket/craft weaving. Other Proboscidea species and varieties have black seed, and according to Larry, contain germination inhibitors. Thus, making them more difficult to germinate. Your P. louisianica and I. lutea should be growing black seed.

Hope this helps a bit. :)
 

joossa

Aklys
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
2,049
Location
Southern CA, USA
9/27/08- I have officially ceased pollinating. The plants are now only sending up one or two flowers per day, and it's not like I need any more claws anyway. Plus if I continue pollinating, the new claws may not get the chance to mature before the first frost hits... :)

9/29/08- More claws/seed rolling in. Over the last couple of days, the plants have developed something on their leaves. It looks like fungus, but I am not too sure. It's white and has appeared on the top surfaces of almost every leaf on every plant. The white "stuff" looks powdery and appears circular shaped on the leaves. They looked polka-dotted. :)
 

jimscott

Tropical Fish Enthusiast
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My parvifloras stopped putting out new flowers but the luteas continue to do so. Next year I'll be using a combination of buckets and the edge of the small pond area and see what happens. 3" claw pods aren't exactly impressive!
 

jimscott

Tropical Fish Enthusiast
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Western New York
Another P. parviflora fruit dehisced and I harvested a whopping 12 seeds.

But we had a light frost this morning and all of the Devil's Claw plants withered. They're done. At least I got seeds from two fruit.
 

joossa

Aklys
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
2,049
Location
Southern CA, USA
10/5/08- Most of the plants are on their way out, especially numbers 1, 4 and 5. Most of their leaves are starting to shrivel up and their stems are starting to loose their color. The fruit seem unharmed though.

10/10/08- I am starting to notice that I am harvesting smaller claws from all the plants overall. I don't know if this has anything to do with the fact that the plants are dying and the onset of colder temperatures. Maybe the fruit are maturing quicker? The seeds inside these smaller claws look normal, however.

I fond some more caterpillars, but didn't bother with the insecticide. Since the season began, I have collected a handful of claws that had seed pods the were infested with mold. I think the caterpillars were the cause of some of these. I found a caterpillar eating its way into a claw. I managed to pull it out before it got in too deep. Then I made the connection. Some of the claws that had mold inside their seed pods, had little holes in the fruit skin. So I am guessing the that caterpillars eat their way into the seed pod, allow moisture to enter the pod, and this allows the mold to grow

10/12/08- We had our first light frost last night. As expected, the plants are no longer doing well. #1, 4, 5, and 2 practically have no healthy foliage left. The plants in the front of the patch seemed to have pulled through though.

I'll try to get an update of the data table in my next post.
 
Joined
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593
Joosa, I'v enoticed the same things. :) All of my plants are gone, because the onset of cooler days and nights stunted their growth in early september, their leaves shriveled, and they quit flowering, so I just pulled them out of their 64 qt planter and set the pods aside to peel. Just the fact that I had them all in a small-ish planter (rather than in the ground) weakened them enough to show bad growth as soon as things got cooler, and their weakened state also proved them susceptible to caterpillar attacks. Three of my pods were notably moldy inside, and - surprise! - each one held a caterpillar or two, plus a bunch of their fecal matter. There were other fruits with lesions on the flesh, just like the ones with the caterpillars inside, but it seems like the caterpillars didn't quite make it inside those.

Something odd, though....Some of my pods are only three-pronged claws instead of the normal four. They can be viewed in my thread in the trading post. Is that environmentally-caused (have your claws done that every so often?) or is it genetic?
 

joossa

Aklys
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May 9, 2006
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Southern CA, USA
Hey Jimmy. Good to hear from another devil's claw grower! Yeah, the caterpillars that were/are on my plants are hornworms. Coincidentally, the wiki page for Proboscidea mentions this:

Two species of Proboscidea that grow in Arizona are the only known hosts of Manduca sexta (tomato hornworm) outside the family Solanaceae.

HERE is the page.

Something odd, though....Some of my pods are only three-pronged claws instead of the normal four. They can be viewed in my thread in the trading post. Is that environmentally-caused (have your claws done that every so often?) or is it genetic?

I don't think it's genetic because all of my plants have grown a mix of claws with the standard double prongs, some with four prongs, and some with three. I saw your post and the ones that you have pictured look like some of mine. The claws with the three prongs usually have a skinny, flexible, almost undeveloped prong too!
 
Joined
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Thanks for clearing that up, Joosa! The first 3-prong claw I grew made me think it was just some strange natural occurence, and then after I found a good five or six more, I started to think that it wasn't just accidental. Now I know better! :)

Those hornworms are peciliar, too. They were a little small for a hornworm, although they definitely seem closely related to the ones I found around here.

Oh, and that explains why the tomato plants didn't get afflicted by those larvae, too!
 

joossa

Aklys
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11/04/08- Well this is it: the FINAL entry. We've come to it at last. We have had no major frosts yet. However, my area has now been experiencing colder and wetter weather. All of the plants are officially dead. I have harvested all of the claws and have pulled the dead plants out of the ground so that I can begin treating the patch's soil for next year.

I unfortunately ceased to record data sometime after the first week of October, but I can say with confidence that I did harvest over 150 claws. The longest claw that I have is just a little bit over 16 inches and the largest seed yield from a single claw was exactly 100 seeds! Thank goodness many people from the LACPS October meeting took seed as I have a ton. I will offer seed for a SASE here on TFs soon... maybe today, so keep your eye on the trading forum if you are interested. Just remember, if you get some seed they will become your burden… Hehehe…

Here are some final shots. I will be adding some additional ones later as well:

The patch on October 25th:

0003.jpg



A fresh harvest:

0002.jpg



Some more claws:

0001.jpg



Remnants of plant #2:

DC03.jpg



#2 with a fruit for reference:

DC01.jpg



The last harvest (1):

DC04.jpg



The last harvest (2):

DC05.jpg



Here is a 4-pronged claw and a normal 2-pronged claw. My plants mainly produced 4-pronged claws:

DC08.jpg



Comparison of different claws. I only grew the two on the left. From left to right: Proboscidea parviflora var. hohokamiana (4 prongs), Proboscidea parviflora var. hohokamiana (2 prongs), Ibicella lutea, and Martynia annua:

DC09.jpg





The final update to the data table has been made. Remember, it is not a 100% representation of my plants as I stopped collecting data some weeks ago. It is an attachment to this post and can be found below.

I know this thread is uber long and detailed, so I compiled a quick guide about growing these plants for those of you that just want the main points:

-White seeds do not have germination inhibitors, and therefore easily germinate without any special treatments.
-The seed require hot temperatures to germinate. The hotter the better. Sow once warm temperatures are prominent.
-Germination can be carried out in small pots, but soon after germination the plants should be moved to their permanent location as their root systems grow quickly.
-These plants need A LOT of room to grow. Growing them in the ground is highly suggested. If that is not possible utilizing large containers is suggested. If not enough space is provided; the plants and claws will grow only to dwarf sizes.
-Keep the plants in the hottest and sunniest place of your garden. Mine experienced temperatures up to 110F in full sun and had not problems at all.
-Fertilize your plants! I used a combination of leaf compost, humus, and 19-6-12 slow release fertilizer for the first 75% of the life cycle of the plants.
-Keep the plants well watered. They may tolerate high heat, but do require that their growing media remains moist. Leaves will loose turgidity if plants are not well watered.
-Grow only a couple of plants. After you have stable plants, select only a few of the strongest looking ones. The plants can and will produce many fruits. Don't underestimate their potential.
-Pollination is easy. Use a Q-tip and try to cross-pollinate between different individuals for best results.
-Watch out for worms! Don't be afraid to use systemic insecticide for those pesky caterpillars.
-Fruits appear quickly after the flower is spent, but will take several weeks to mature and ripen.
-Harvest fruits once they begin to split (dehisce) and be careful not to let them spread their seed.
-Let the claws and seed completely dry before attempting to remove seed from the pod.
-Remove seeds carefully. There will be some that are difficult to remove, as they will seem stuck in the nooks and crannies of the pod. Use a dissecting probe or similar tool to aid in your joyful quest.
-Store the seed in a cool and dry area for next year.



What the Future Holds:
Ivan Snyder of the LACPS told me that Devil's Claws readily hybridize, but that there has not been much data recorded on this. I was able to obtain P. parviflora var. hohokamiana seed that only grow two prongs. In addition, I now have some Ibicella lutea seed as well. I will grow some of these and will try to create hybrids next year. We'll see what happens…

Special Thanks:
I want to take this time to give credit to some people that helped make this possible. First, I want to thank Evin (allegedhuman) for her generosity. She provided me with the seed and lots of help and info and thus I completely blame her for this new addiction. Thanks Evin! :)
Next, thank you Jimscott for sharing your experiences and participating in this thread. I am sure that your posts also helped and will help people that are growing Devil's Claws. Good luck next year!
Thanks goes to Larry for providing some useful info in the beginning stages of this thread.
Also thanks to everyone who posted comments.
Thanks to Ivan Snyder for providing me with additional information regarding these plants.
Last but not least, thank YOU for reading this thread! :)


Alright people that's it! I hope you enjoyed this as much as I have. This is joossa, last survivor of the Nostromo signing off...



DC06.jpg
 

joossa

Aklys
Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
2,049
Location
Southern CA, USA
I finally finished up collecting all the seed from the claws a couple of days ago. In the end, I ended up with so many empty claws, that I had to throw most of them in the green waste bin. Here are some more current pictures.



Remember the twins?:

Twins.jpg



Here are some hanging in my room as decorations:

PC100208.jpg



I moved the green waste bin to my front door. As I was taking the claws out of their container, most of them came out in a massive ball. I hung them in the doorway before throwing them out:

PC070194.jpg



Here are some in the bin:

PC070195.jpg



And of course all the seed! Which I am still offering for a SASE:

PC070197.jpg
 
Joined
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Messages
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Michigan
Man too bad you got such a small harvest of seed...very generous of you to share some, just be sure to save at least a FEW seeds for yourself :) Did you bother to get a count of the grand total of your giant haul of seeds for the season? Now you must spread to curse of the Devil's Claw surplus to other unsuspecting forum members...mwahaha
~Btw, your "Fin" picture in an earlier post is pretty classy...
 

vraev

Carnivorous plant enthusiast
Admin
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Ontario, Canada
those claws are soooo cool. Fantastic journal Joosa. If only we had journals like this for cps. :)

Anyways....sad that you threw those claws away. I would have loved to grab a few off ya. :p lol! but shipping would completely damage them. :(
 
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