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Lupus

Raflesia arnoldii

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I am currently trying to locate seeds for Raflesia arnoldii, and it's host vine Tetrastigma. I have had no luck anywhere else so I was hoping someone here could help me locate it.

--Much Thanks, Lupus.

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Does anyone have contacts in Sarawak, Malaysia? The flower Rafflesia arnoldii grows in Gunung Gading National Park in Sarawak. If anyone has contacts in Malaysia could you see if you could get them to collect some seeds?

BTW- I found a supplier for Tetrastigma plants. www.worldplants.com/

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Is that a "National Park and Wildflower Cash'n'Carry" or the sort where they are trying to protect rare and endangered local flora from insane over-consuming plant collectors?

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Guest reville

I hope that wasnt a dig. I mean its perfectly ethical to want to cultivate such a plant if it contributes to our knowledge of it.. so much tropical forest has been converted to plantation,grassland or secondary growth - and all the rehab work seems to concentrate soloely on species of economic value and also the most obvious plant types - the trees.

It is even possible that these areas will disappear as global warming heats and dries them up.

We need plant collectors more than ever - especially amateurs with the time and motivation

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I wasn't implying that someone should collect seed for me from the National Park, I was just explaining the area that it grows in. Anyway, from what I have read I doubt that anyone could collect from the park. (They are rather protective of their plants.)

BTW- I totally agree with your point reville smile.gif . I think people should collect as much seed from their area as can, within reason, and make it available to all. It's the best way to make sure we don't lose anymore plant species.

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Sarawak has a research station attached to it and they are very open to suggestions of scientific use of their species. if you have a good idea for an experiment, which warrants you growing this plant, they will probably help you source it.

I had several very positive dealings with them a few years ago. Just search them out on the net (via malaysian universities) and make unreferred contact.

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Thanks for the info Torsten smile.gif . What university am I looking for? UNIMAS (University of Malaysia Sarawak)? confused.gif

-Lupus.

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Yes, reville, that was a dig. If amateur gardeners want to help save some endangered species they should, in my view, be concentrating on the flora of low-lying islands. These are the ones that will be disappearing first due to Lupus' government's lack of concern about CO2 controls.

As Rafflesia are dioecious several hosts would have to be grown. Say it is a 30 metre tall vine and assume the root system must be unconfined and at least of that spread. Say 20 plants to ensure that there is at least one male. Unfortunately even in its habitat the plant is totally unpredictable in its flowering time. The likelihood of seed being obtained therefore seems very low even with a four acre greenhouse 100 foot tall even if the perfect conditions are chanced upon the first time. I wonder how many years they will take to come to maturity. Who will look after the plants after Lupus dies? Unless Lupus happens to be in one of those numerous rainforest areas of California.

I can't help wondering how many parasitic plants Lupus has practised on before engaging on this project, let alone the commoner (less famous and smaller) members of the Rafflesiales like Cytinus. He certainly doesn't seem to be aware that many such plants are host-specific and that Tetrastigma has hundreds of species. T. voinierianum is from Vietnam, it may not be suitable and his "experiments" could lead to the loss of seed material that would be better used by someone with some idea of what they are doing. Or left within the ecosystem it evolved in and which appears to be still functioning. Perhaps this is due in part to the economic value of "the panda of the plant world".

I would be interested to hear what the scientists of Sarawak have to say to a proposal from Lupus.

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These are the ones that will be disappearing first due to Lupus' government's lack of concern about CO2 controls.

not just the US. have you seen australian news lately? our fearless fascist leader is doing his best to make australia the world leader in carbon emissions negligence, nay, sheer disregard of the issue. in fact legislation has just been passed approving the burning of woodchips as renewable energy! nice one johnny.

how's the UK on emissions?

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wow, somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed...

heheh ... I'm sure we all love our Johnny. Check this out from today's Age:

"I've always been very sympathetic to the cause of reconciliation"

"Even where you have differences like a formal apology we are not allowing those differences to overwhelm debate."

"Just because somebody like myself does not support a formal apology or a treaty doesn't mean that I'm not very strongly committed to reconciliation."

What the FUCK??? How do politicians get away with this bullshit? He may as well say "just because I like to sodomize little girls doesn't mean I'm a paedophile"...

On the topic of johnny, anybody noticed the resemblance to Mr Sheen?

ok, one more corker...

"Mr Howard said he believed the Olympic Games had helped."

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Mr sheen, damn if I cack any harder I will surely do big jobbies & soil myself mightily. many thanx for that thought.

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While Theo's tone is a little harsh, I thoroughly agree with the sentiment. When working with endangered plants, it should be the plant that has top priority and not the collector's interests.

Shaman Australis is working on several rare and endangered species, but we always first and foremostly look at the viability of the project for the survival of the species.

Sure, there are many plants we could add to our collection for the sole purpose of possessing them, but that is just not good enough. Sadly we have frequently been offered assistance from scientists in such cases, where it really was not appropriate.

However, seed isn't always the only way to increase plant numbers. In fact, in many cases of rare plants it is the least effective way of ensuring survival. Vegetative propagation (such as low tech cuttings, or high tech cloning) are much more suitable, but in many cases very costly.

If you want to help a species you have to 'adopt' it. At this stage you make a committment to do everything in your power to make sure that that little bit of genetic material you are about to receive will spawn a whole new generation and that this generation will find a suitable home.

Anything less than this is selfish and irresponsible.

BTW, I don't remeber the name of the Uni, as my dealings with them were quite a few years ago. But what you quoted seems familiar.

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just out of interest, I suppose though that where possible seed would be preferred in order to maintain at least a little bit of genetic diversity?

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I'm a harsh man wink.gif At least where vegetable pandas are concerned.

The concept of taking a cutting from a Rafflesia is rather mind-blowing. I suppose that would have to be very high tech.

The UK has recently increased fuel taxes though they were already very high. Americans are horrified by petrol prices in the UK. Wind farms are being actively researched and even the Salter Duck is being reconsidered. We are also planting huge numbers of trees, such as the Great Forest enclosing Sherwood Forest where I was born. This despite our being a very crowded little country. My local council in Manchester has been helping us with our community garden project which is semi-permaculture. We already have a few dozen trees and are about to receive more, as well as the seedlings that are being raised.

As far as I know the UK is not blocking international agreement on CO2 release.

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Originally posted by rkundalini:

just out of interest, I suppose though that where possible seed would be preferred in order to maintain at least a little bit of genetic diversity?

Yes, this is one of the biggest problems with vegetative propagation. However, if you are not dealing with the last few plants n the planet, then it doesn't matter.

one of the projects I have planned for the next 5 years is to rescue two natives from the rainforest around here. Numbers have dwindled over the years and the plants each only produces a couple of seeds each year. The seeds are attractive and frequently collected by bushwalkers. They are also fleshy and get eaten by critters. There are about 8 communities of the one species, separated by several kilometers. each community is inbred now, however they woul still be very similar in their genetic make-up.

To establish this plant in tissue culture will be difficult and we can only do it for one specimen at this stage. However, when we plant this clone out into the forest, it will eventually reselect for the traits it requires from breeding with the communities that the clones will be planted near to.

Establishing a clone-only community would be unwise as the limited genepool may eventually bring the demise of this community, but in the meantime it may give a false count for conservation census.

For plants where there are no other options (such as the single genotype Wollemi Pine), genetic diversity can be induced by chemical recombination of the genetic material. While this does not introduce new genes, it nevertheless allows expression of genes that are otherwise masked and not available to take part in fast natural selection.

In reference to Mitragyna, I figure that thousands of people will be growing this single genotype over the next few years. When these trees mature, all it takes is to import some pollen fom Thailand, or to introduce the occasional other genotype by seed or cutting (possibly grafted to the shaman australis genotype), to keep good genetic diversity going. I think the priority has to be to get high numbers. Then once this is achieved, genetic variety can be introduced. It's not an ideal solution, but we just don't have the finances to propagate several genotypes at this stage. Maybe we will do so sometime in the future.

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Hi all,

First I would like to say that although it would be nice to be able to say that I have a Rafflesia arnoldii in my collection, my main concern is for the plant. I have been doing a lot of research on parasitic plants, and will soon be experimenting with cultivating different varietys of mistletoe (and yes, I do know it is not the same). Once I make contact with someone that has access to the plant I will be able to get more information on the plant itself, hopefully more information on it's germination. I am also trying to locate a source to aquire the species of Tetrastigma that is native to the malaysian rainforest where this plant grows. My hope is to discover a way to get Rafflesia arnoldii to grow on another variety of Tetrastigma, and possibly some of it's cousins the grapes. I realize that this is not something to rush into blindly, and I am not going to be aquireing seed anytime soon. I am planing on ecoscaping some of my property and hopefully naturalizing some species of Tetrastigma. It will be quite some time before I can say I am ready to attempt this but at least I am making a start.

And by the way, I think that protecting the environment is a global issue (for it is the globe we are trying to protect).

posted by theobromos:

...they should, in my view, be concentrating on the flora of low-lying islands. These are the ones that will be disappearing first due to Lupus' government's lack of concern about CO2 controls.

The US government isn't perfect, belive me I am the first to admit that. But I must say that with the amount of agencies and people from around the world who care about these islands, it dosn't come down to the US governments irresponsibility alone, but also the irresposibility of the people who say they care. If the rest of the world screamed loud enough the US government would eventually change their ways. (Even if it is just for appearences, the end result is the same.)

posted by Theobromos:

He certainly doesn't seem to be aware that many such plants are host-specific and that Tetrastigma has hundreds of species.

I must reply to this that, as stated above, my first priority is to learn as much as I can about this plant as soon as I make contact with someone with access to, and information on, this plant.

Thank you everyone for your replys so far, this has turned out to be a rather interesting thread to read I do hope it dosn't end with this post.

--Lupus.

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