Sunday, October 18, 2009

Random plant event: Anthurium seedlings' leaves and fern progress

There are now at least five sprouting Anthurium seedlings, as of last Tuesday when these pictures were taken. We now have the development of actual, identifiable leaves:

(This is the batch that's in with the Begonia leaf sections. Also, know that any of the pictures in this post can be blown up to much, much larger sizes, if you're wanting to do that.)

(Same group as the previous picture, but facing the opposite direction)

And now a couple of the seeds I planted in the other vermiculite, with the ferns I've been trying to start since forever, are also sprouting:

The one on the left, if you blow the picture up to full size, looks like it has mold growing on it, but that's actually a root. Scared the bejesus out of me the first few times I saw it. And then when I recovered from the shock of that and figured out it was a root, not mold, I realized that I'd had the bejesus scared out of me AND I DIDN'T REMEMBER EATING ANY BEJESUS and had no explanation for how it had gotten into me in the first place, and so I was scared a second time.

It was a pretty rough day.

(For more on bejesus, see Bejesus Quarterly's "What is Bejesus?" page here.)

Meanwhile, since we're here anyway: the ferns are looking fernier, to the point where we can start speculating about the relative Cyrtomium-to-Asplenium ratio of the plants which have developed. I think it's looking like 300:0 at this point: nothing looks like an Asplenium to me. But then, I don't know what either of them are supposed to look like, at this stage of development.

Though there's still nothing here that could make it on its own in a pot yet, there's been quite a bit of progress since the last time we checked in on the ferns, three months ago. This may just be the way it usually works, or it may be because I've added a few balls of time-release Osmocote to the top of the vermiculite to encourage growth. (Or at least that was the theory. For all I know it may have actually set them back. Have I mentioned how I don't exactly know what I'm doing with the ferns?)

I don't know that we're at the point where I can say we'll have baby ferns any day now (though I intend to dust off the old mini-greenhouse and have it standing by, just in case), but we're clearly just right on the verge of something or another.


Anonymous said...

Nice looking bunch of fernlets. When I grew mine I did them on the (old trick) sterilized brick and getting them off of that was the devil's own job.

I'm interested that you're using Osmocote on them. I've always been in a quandary about how to (or is it whether to?) fertilize ferns. So far it's been nothing but homemade compost stuff that works best for me.

Updates please as they mature.

Tom said...

First: very cool about the anthuriums. Glad to see the slime coat isn't a deal-breaker for germination. (They do have a certain "Alien" / "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" look about them, though...)

Second: Bejesus is a particle? Like the StarWars "Force" particle (George made up?)

Third: Sowing the different fern spores together in the same container close enough for their prothallium to touch can allow hybridization, if they are compatible (sperm swims from one to the other). Though there are some inter-generic hybrids, not sure if it's possible between these two. Would be quite cool, though.

Yes, updates please.

Lance said...

I didn't know you could eat 'bejesus' - wouldn't it just come back up in 3 days?

mr_subjunctive said...


That made me groan, but it's funny.

Lance said...

I know - it was awful, but I couldn't resist