Message from Rob

Sat, 29 Dec 90 17:51:00 EST

Hey, guys, I decided to punch the lab time clock to respond to some of
my email before my NEW MAIL FOLDER explodes. My email messages hasn't
been the only thing growing, but the participants of our little
electronic conference CP club. Welcome Paul, Paul and Earl. Sorry I
couldn't extend greetings earlier, but I've been very busy with mixing,
brewing and distilling my chemicals in the lab, literally like a MAD
scientist these past few weeks. You see, I'm approaching my final year
of Ph.D. studies here at McMaster in chemical synthesis (sub discipline
of organic chemistry), so I'm trying to sprint now to the finish line,
hopefully carring at least 2 or 3 papers to my name. In addition to the
latest intensive research work out, throw in lab demontrating and
marking of weekly reports, tutoring undergrads, courses, landlording,
family commitments, back therapy, a WIFE and especially a runaway plant
hobby, I sometimes think I need 48 hours a day to do all this juggling!
Oh yeah, I'm also quite an avid squash player and alot of time is logged
on the squash courts too. Anyways, on to the juicy stuff! My romance
with CP is over 12 years old, starting off as love-at-first-sight with a
Grade 10 biology class Venus' Fly Trap. Like a hapless insect, I was
lured and trapped forever. I didn't have much time to pursue the
relationship during my undergrad years at Mac but it really blossomed
about 3 years ago once having started grad studies. Now I have close to
300 taxa, including forms, varieties etc, all grown in my house either
under lights or by southern-facing windows. Needless to say, there are
no bugs in our place! I don't really have favorites, but I've always
enamoured the beauty and diversity of the sparkling jewels, the Drosera.
Recently, I've been eyeing the pygmy Drosera, in part brought on by
recent success at their cultivation and gemmae from our Copernicus
contempory at U. at AZ, Barry. As I don't always get a chance to get at
the terminal on a regular basis, I will get around to responding,
normally in long winded messages. Guess you can call me
a-one-shot-make-it-count marksman (as opposed to spraying with machine
gun fire)! By the way, Earl, I've sent a copy of your intial message to
the gang, so feel free to write to us and exchange views on CP, life,
transendental meditation etc. I agree with you when you say that you're
not having much success with you plants is because of not alloting for
winter dormancy of the temperate and northern temperate species. Of
course, the tropical ones you should not have probs, with. Let us know
exactly what species you're having trouble with and what your growing
conditions are: these factors will be more useful in pin-pointing
problem areas.

> Rob,...Have any hints on how to grow these? (Roridula ssp.)

R. gorgonia has germinated under standard tropical Drosera germinating
conditions (peat/spahag. mix, moist, with baggie, 18<T<30 C, good
light). They grow to good size plants in direct sun, but trouble arise
when they go dormant: all top growth dies and the plant looks lifeless.
I've got some in this condition now and I have to wait until they come
out of this condition to really know whether they were indeed lifeless
or in alive but in a dormant state. You should ask Allen how he deals
with his plants when they are in this condition, as I'm just relying on
my intuition of SA dormancy conditions to carry my plants through. R.
dentata is another prob.: it has never germinated for me despite giving
the seed a seemingly requisite hot water (60 C) treatment before sowing.
Seed planted without this treatment have still to germinate (planted
about a year ago). As CP'erphiles are painfully finding out as of
recent with Nepenthes, SA Drosera, tuberous Drosera etc., patience may
be deciding factor in determining whether seed will germinate given
suitable germinating conditions.

That's it for this installment. SEASON'S GREETINGS TO ALL!