Jump to content
The Corroboree


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Illustro

  1. I got a tree but I've never really gotten into it, too sloppy for my liking. Looks pretty cool in the garden though. They hate wind and the fruit need to be thinned so the plant doesn't collapse under its own weight, I suspect the ancestors of these plants evolved from herbaceous weeds not so long ago...complete lack of lignified wood it seems....probably great for biofuel/methanol production though.

    • Like 1

  2. Hi guys I stumbled upon this thread from 2006 which has an amazing cacti. Wondering if anyone knows what it is and if anyone is propogating it! Would love one.


    Appologies if this has been covered before.attachicon.gifimage.jpg

    I used to have a mature specimen almost identical to that, I think it was a hybrid between long-spined bridgesii I had (14-18cm spines) and peruvianus if I remember right. Pretty cool, but was ridiculously dangerous, it was the one cactus I was truly fearful of being around - the spines were like lances, designed to kill.

  3. They also sell technicolour cacti, so unless they're master alchemists and genetic engineers, I highly doubt these tasteless basterds have done anything more than went down to their local depot store and bought some poor succulents along with some gimmicky aerosol paint and had their perverted ways.

    Ew, just ew..


  4. Dude, I would be very cautious with using that with cacti as fine particulates such as powders, especially relatively dense powders, have the tendency to migrate down the soil profile and collect down the bottom of the pot. Imagine pouring sand in a box full of tennis balls, the vast majority of the sand will inevitably end up at the bottom, especially if left in the rain. When dealing with fine materials such as sand and dust this is incredibly dangerous for plants. Due to the size of the particles they practically inhibit gas-exchange in the soil, which not only suffocates roots but also promotes mould and bacteria. This is exacerbated by the fact that the smaller something is, the proportionally greater surface area it has relative to mass, meaning the greater surface tension it has, making the substance adsorp or hold water much more readily than something the same weight but larger grained. Fine dust can take literally weeks to dry out in full sun versus a few hours for coarse sand, if this is at the bottom of your pot it is not at all good. It will form something like a 'densipan', drastically inhibiting drainage and invariably spelling death to your cacti. If you are to use it, I would only add it as a fraction of a percent to the mix.

    If you want mineral nutrition for your cacti, try finding some soft volcanic rock like andesite, ignimbrite, cemented ash, they retain their rocky form while quickly weathering to release a wide spectrum of elements.

    • Like 1

  5. You gotta appreciate that they don't run on the tpyical business model of orderable stock actually existing, I would rather call them a plant & seed networker / sourcer rather than a retailer. Through their networks they have an absolutely mind-blowing 'potential' inventory that no rival comes anywhere near to matching. I used them simply because they had species, forms, and localities that I could not find anywhere else. If you want rare / hard to get seeds then they'll do their best to get them for you. If your priority is just getting some token-ass species/forms/localities quickly, then you're much better off with the retailers.

    • Like 2

  6. I've ordered from Kaktusy, but they sent the payment instructions with the seeds - it took about 6 months to get the seed though, and only about half the species I requested were in it. Apparently it takes awhile as they source the seed from a seed network of sorts, not sure how true this is. Apparently Czechs are notorious for selling wild-harvested plants and seeds too, not sure how true this is either.

    Just be patient, sit back and pop open a Budvar, the order will arrive. Na zdravi.

  7. I made a sizeable glasshouse (6m x 2.5m x 3.5m) almost entirely from recycled windows and wood. Only cost about 1.1g and is ridiculously strong, has withstood several cyclones and major storms completely unscathed. Plus it has a totally awesome rustic ambiance and woody glow. No skills or experience...or research. I just did it. It was actually super fun and rewarding to build, very glad I didn't just buy some crappy kit set, plus it seems everyone who has had one of those has had major/fatal problems with them in the wind.

    • Like 2

  8. In the wet subtropics/warm temperate of my clime, I manage to grow all sorts (Mammillaria, Rebutia etc) completely exposed outdoors. I just made a mix of about 60-70% coarse sand & pumice, then made a cone of mix (like a volcano) in the pots around the roots (empty space filled in with limestone gravel) as to ensure as little moisture was retained around the roots as possible. Three years and no problems at all. For the more sensitive species, I made a glasshouse/'rain shelter', designed simply to keep rain out and allow heaps of air movement (huge amount of venting) -- the babies love it.

  9. If you want good soil, you gotta do the hard work! Most mixes totally suck and need lots of intervention (pesticides). I want a pesticide-free soil that looks-after itself, so I went with nutrient-packed inorganic (mineral) soils, but it took about 30 hours to make about 200 L of mix!

    I spent hours crushing bricks, limestone, and andesite etc with a hammer and paver, then sieved it all to a consistent grade of between 6 and 2 mm (to avoid it stratifying/settling out). Luckily, I am also surrounded by a soil which seems very similar to akadama, it is a naturally granular volcanic clay which is exceptionally fertile, it retains a gravel form, but has porosity similar to pumice, and fertility surpassing loess. And it looks super pretty unlike akadama (full of yellows, blues, pinks, whites, greys, blacks). I use that at around 60%. Even during winter this mix is fully drained in a matter of seconds/minutes, but holds a very small amount of moisture which it releases slowly over several weeks. Results so far are simply outstanding. Everything is exploding in growth and is flowering like a meadow, I've never seen my cacti flower even a fraction as much.

  10. A glass of water works good, they root like mad. Even easier, just let the plant grow in the ground for a year and you'll have more self-rooted branches than you know what to do with. I made the mistake of planting a 20cm SD cutting in my garden last summer, 1.5 years later it had self-layered into a thicket covering an area about 5m x 4m with hundreds of stems, many over 7ft, each covered in root nodules just waiting to fall over and spread ever further. Pesky bugger.

  11. I like what this guy has to say... I don't think women's lib is all about this sort of thing but there are too many examples of when it gets ridiculous here in the states... I don't know all the facts here but it just doesn't make sense, though I do understand depression and have considered suicide in the past so I know what its like to be out of my own element... I can only imagine he felt fully taken advantage of and so I can't judge him for that... when I hit a peak in depression x anxiety, it really felt like I had lost everything I had ever worked for... but turned out I had to lose the material shit to realize what i'll always have... and I can only imagine its that much more difficult for someone of his stature...

    He is missed

    That guy who did the video was painfully dumb, but may have a point. Don't wanna trivialise Robin's death or use it as a launching pad for agendas, but the the divorce system is completely fucked up in the west, don't doubt for a second that his divorces and their baggage contributed toward his suicide. We are nurturing a sick system here people. Check this out:

    ..sucks it has to be this way, but I'm making damn sure all my major assets are in trusts.

    • Like 1

  12. @Micromegas, not sure what birds eats them, the plants are down the back of my place where rarely go. So I guess it was conjecture, I've never actually seen them being eaten, but every time I try harvest fruit something has beaten me to it and apparently pecked all the fruit to shit.

  13. I dunno about in South America, but in my backyard Trich fruit are eaten almost solely by birds, they love them -- Trich fruit are perfect for bird dispersal, a smorgasbord sitting high up on a very well defended vantage point. The fruit only drop to the ground once mostly eaten.

    • Like 1

  14. looks like kava??

    Superficially, at first glance, one easy give-away is the distinct midrib in my plant, whereas the veins in kava are all borne from the leaf base. And katu's observation that my plant has a single sturdy trunk and kava has multiple small branches coming from the base, as well as the sassafras smell.

    My heart just skipped a beat. *Commercially* viable?

    Apparently so.

    Not a bad plant at all katu, will have to try some of the Mexican recipes. Not sure what I'll do with the plant though seeing it's potentially invasive, probably keep it in a pot, don't need a whole forest :P

    • Like 1

  15. Just got it from a small local nursery, informed the owners of my ID, they didn't believe me so I pulled rank (I'm a botanist :P). Very velvety (pubescent) and sassafras smell, part of what led me to the P. auritum ID. Not kava, but still not a bad plant at all (unless planted in the ground! *invasive*). Used in Central American cuisine and also a commercially-viable source of safrole!

  16. Nice plant, love the leaves...but crap, it made me realise my 'kava' was probably not actually P. methysticum ... after a google search it turns out my 'kava' is probably actually P. auritum, aka 'false kava'. Bugger..

    gallery_5307_350_224075.jpg gallery_5307_350_140635.jpg

  17. I used to think the same, but I'm doing an experiment now - not rinsing it before using it. My reasoning is that in habitat, there will also be some fine sand, silt and clay in the soil. So maybe they like it like that. Well, I'll see how it turns out.

    Nooo! Change it, seriously. I just encountered the same issue with my collection, fine sand IS death to cacti. Experiments are best done without plants first, something I've started doing is observing how substrates hold/drain water by grading the substrates (sieve) and simply wetting a pile of each and seeing how the different substrates drain. I've seen how non-porous sands (hard rocks and minerals e.g. andesite, basalt, quartz) hold a tonne of water on the surface (adsorption) which is nearly impossible for the plant to remove/use due to extreme surface tension (I think from memory the hydraulic pressure needed to remove the surface-tension water is above 1000 psi). Furthermore, due to the small grain size this surface tension, water effectively turns fine sand into a liquid, a thick soup, which lingers for weeks, starving the roots of O2 and creating the perfect environment for pathogens. And fine sand always seems to find it's way to the bottom of the pot. Some pots may be fine, the sand may come out during waterings, whereas others will be pure death. Coarse sands create air-pockets which facilitates drainage and aeration, and tend to move about in the mix alot less. Also, the more homogeneous (~even) the substrate size, the less stuff will settle out. Porous sands such as sandstones, siltstones, pumices, tephra) seem to dry out much quicker than non-porous materials and have no surface-tension water load, I hypothesize this is due to the granules very slowly absorbing the adsorbed water held in surface-tension, taking it away from the surface and into the granule interior matrix, eliminating the 'sand soup' phenomenon. These granules then slowly donate this water back to the soil system and the plant.

    • Like 1