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Triantha occidentalis cultivation and observations thread

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This is a thread for me to document my progress and observations regarding the behavior of Triantha occidentalis in cultivation. In case anyone is unfamiliar, Triantha is a small genus of mainly North American herbaceous perennials, though one of the four species is endemic to Japan. This genus has been known to science for many years, but has been discovered to be partially carnivorous only in the past year. This plant is a monocot, which puts it apart from all carnivorous/semi-carnivorous plants with the exception of the Bromeliads Brocchinia reducta, B. hechtioides, and Catopsis berteroniana. What makes it truly unique is that it is a flypaper carnivore, as opposed to the more simple pitfall carnivores like the Bromeliads.

This species is also unique in that only the flower stems are covered in the glands that secrete the mucous and enzymes. The rest of the plant looks like a typical, unassuming, grassy monocot plant that you wouldn't think twice of in the open wetlands where the genus lives.

There are two other species in North America besides T. occidentalis, but these haven't been confirmed to be carnivorous, though I suspect they are. These species are often found growing alongside other carnivorous plants such as Drosera and Sarracenia.

T. occidentalis, as its specific name suggests, is native to the western United States and Canada, from Northern California to southern Alaska. T. occidentalis is a common plant, often found growing alongside Drosera, Utricularia, Pinguicula, and even Darlingtonia in the southern part of its range.

The seeds I have are from an unspecified location in Washington state. I, like most other people I presume, have no idea how to grow these plants best. I can only start off by growing them like the plants that grow alongside them, such as Drosera rotundifolia or Darlingtonia californica, though I suspect they aren't nearly as picky as Darlingtonia.

These seeds went into cold stratification on September 14, 2021, and today on November 30, 2021, approximately a week after I removed them from approximately 10 weeks of stratification, I have noticed germination. Most of the seeds have germinated, so it would appear that 10 weeks is perfectly sufficient for a high germination rate.


Attached are a photo of one of the seeds that has germinated, and also a photo of the seed tray I currently have them in. I am trying them out in several different substrates to see which wins out: a peat based substrate with some fine aggregate, pure aggregate, or pure Sphagnum moss. The seed tray is currently on the second shelf of my greenhouse, just underneath my highland Nepenthes. Temperatures are 70-85f during the day and 55-60f at night. These should be optimal conditions, but I am going to be experimenting with different conditions once I have some established plants.

I look forward to updating this thread in the future with more images and observations of these little guys. Hopefully these don't prove to be difficult growers.
 

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Plant Whisperer
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12/27/21 update:

The seedlings are growing their first true leaves now. Not much to mention apart from that I noticed very high mortality on peat/vermiculite and low losses on pure Sphagnum. Pure vermiculite was interestingly roughly in between the two with regards to mortality. I feel like there are a number of reasons this could be, mostly down to cultivation errors by myself. I wouldn't write off any germination media based off of my experience alone.

The seedlings are getting to the point now where I think they won't suffer many more losses, and I still have a good number of them. Hopefully I can get at least four or five of them to maturity.

Attached are a couple of macro shots of two of the seedlings showing the seed case, the cotyledon, and the first true leaves. Also included is a shot of the whole tray in its new location on the top shelf among highland Nepenthes. Ignore the Sarracenia seedling in the nearest cell on the far right, it was becoming overgrown with moss in its pot and I had to plant it somewhere.

Hopefully the next update will be of larger seedlings. These don't seem to be the fastest growing plants, so hopefully it won't be too long, but I won't update until there's something to report.
 

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