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Euphorbia obesa – Our New Babies

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Our search was finally over. Now we have not only one but two more Baseball Plants which is the other name for Euphorbia obesa. They are still small, and it will take a while for them to grow, but I am very excited.

I used to have two of them that I bought long long time ago, but one of them died last year. The other one that is still alive has grown quite big for this kind of cactus. It is about 20 cm high. We bought one of the new little ones last March in Victoria Market, and the other one which is better in shape was purchased two days ago in Garden World. In Victoria market at that time only one Euphorbesa obesa available there and the shape was not perfect but we bought it anyway. It is a surprise to me that they are finally available in Garden World. There were only three of them. One was quite large and beautiful but it was much too expensive and the other two were small. I decided to buy one of the small ones. A little bit pricey still, but it was worth it for such a rare cactus plant.

Euphorbia obesa do not multiply, so the only way to grow it is by seeds. This is one of the reasons why this cactus is dear beside the fact that it grows very slowly. We will never know the young baseball cacti is male or female until they flower. They say that the male E. obesa usually grow taller than the female.

To go to my last post on Euphorbia obesa:

https://kiyanti2008.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/euphorbia-obesa-rot-in-peace/

Senecio globosa – Rare Cactus

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Senecio globosa is one variation of Senecio articulatus (=hot dog or candle cactus). Many times it is also referred as Senecio articulatus v. globosa. The globosa’s jointed segments are more rounded compared to those of the articulatus species.

Not much information about this rare succulent. There are many different species of Senecio plants and mostly are native to South Africa and Madagascar. Just like any other cacti and succulents, S. globosa has to kept drier during winter months and moderate watering during warmer months.

Nothing really spectacular about this dainty plant except the odd shape and the interesting leaves are quite pretty. The small globular stems seem to be stacked in a precarious way that you may be afraid they are going to fall. Ha, ha…… I read somewhere that this plant has flowers, so I cannot wait to see mine flowering.

Update January 18, 2012:

Senecio globosa is supposed to drop leaves in the winter time, but here in Melbourne is summer now and ours is still bare. Some new growths are not round, instead they are long/more like cucumber. Weird! So far I have moved the plant into a better pot.

Senecio articulatus v. globosa – January 18, 2012

Voodoo Lily – Smaller Cousin of Corpse Flower

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 When we went to Nunawading Craft and Produce Market last summer (2010), I saw a plant that looked familiar. The only difference is the much smaller size than the ones that I used to see long time ago. I asked the seller what the name of the plant was, and she told me it was ’voodoo lily’.

This voodoo lily plant reminded me of corpse flower plant (Titan arum/Amorphophallus titanum) that used to grow wildly in our family property in Central Java, Indonesia when I was a child. To read my previous blog about this smelly flower, please click here: https://kiyanti2008.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/corpse-flower/

Although the size is much smaller, this voodoo lily plant has very much the same in appearance as corpse flower plant, the soft green and grey mottled trunk (which is actually petiole/leaf stalk) and the unusually pretty foliage. Both corpse flower and voodoo lily varieties are from Arum family, so somehow they are related. I read that there are many varieties of voodoo lilies. Some have pretty pink colour, while others are greenish purple, spotted or dark red with long blackish spadix. As ours never flower so far, so I am not sure which one it is.

Anyway, I bought one pot that time in the market but until today it has never flowered.  I have since moved the plant into a bigger container and now it has started to grow from the long winter sleep. First it was a spike and I thought it was going to open as a flower, but later it was only leaves. Hopefully it has the same flowering habit as arum lily and it will bloom freely during the summer months.

As voodoo lilies also smelled a bit like rotting meat and attract many flies, make sure not to locate this plant near a doorway or windows. Choose a location as far as possible from the house.

Jamur Parasit – Cordyceps sinensis

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This Image is from: http://www.kernelpoweruk.com/

Gara gara kemarin nonton progam di TV tentang jamur ‘Cordyceps sinensis’, jadi saja malamnya aku mimpi tubuhku berubah menjadi jamur. Hi, hi, hi….. Dalam mimpiku, jamur parasit itu bermutasi dan kalau manusia menghirup sporanya akan ditumbuhi jamur didalam tubuhnya dan perlahan lahan tubuh dipenuhi oleh akar akar jamur dan tubuhku jadi kaku dan mengeras. Yang menyeramkan adalah disaat aku lihat jamur mulai tumbuh diatas dahi, lengan dan anggota tubuh lainnya. Aku menjerit ngeri kesakitan dan untungnya cepat terbangun dan sadar itu hanya mimpi buruk. Ha, ha….. 

 

Konon disuatu daerah tertentu di Tibet terdapat jamur parasit yang tumbuh dari dalam tubuh ulat. Setelah sejenis ulat  yang hidup dibawah tanah, tanpa sengaja memakan jamur Cordyceps sinensis atau menghirup spora dari jamur tersebut, tumbuhlah jamur itu ditubuhnya dan jamur itu memakan ulat itu dari dalam. Rongga tubuh ulat itu kemudian dipenuhi oleh akar akar jamur. Racun jamur ini rupanya mempengaruhi tingkah laku ulat ini sehingga binatang malang ini bergerak dekat kepermukaan tanah. Setelah ulat dekat dengan permukaan tanah, kemudian tumbuhlah jamur itu dari atas dahi ulat tersebut. Tubuh ulat yang sudah dipenuhi jamur itu masih berbentuk seperti ulat tapi kulitnya mengeras dan tetap berada dibawah permukaan tanah. Sedang jamur nya kemudian tumbuh diatas tanah diakhir musim dingin.

Disaat musim dingin berakhir, banyak orang orang Tibet mencari jamur Cordyceps sinensis ini. Kadang kala seluruh keluarga pergi kedataran tinggi yang terpencil itu dan untuk beberapa hari mereka berkemah. Dibawah perdu tanaman rhododendron, jamur jamur ini mulai tumbuh dan harus digali secepatnya sebelum sporanya lepas. Dengan mata yang harus awas dan jeli mereka mencari dengan cermatnya dan setelah ketemu, digali dengan hati hati sekali supaya bagian jamur yang dibawah tanah yang tadinya ulat itu tak patah. 

 Menurut uraian di Wikipedia, Cordyceps adalah sejenis fungi atau jamur ascomycete yang seluruhnya terdapat sekitar 400 species. Semua jamur Cordyceps ini adalah bersifat parasite (endoparasitoids), yang tumbuh dari dalam tubuh serangga dan jenis artrophod lainnya. Dari semua jenis Cordyceps ini yang  dicari untuk obat adalah jenis Cordyceps sinensis, yaitu yang tumbuh dari dalam tubuh sejenis ulat yang hanya ditemukan di Tibet.

 

 

Mengapa orang orang Tibet mengumpulkan jenis jamur ini? Rupanya sudah berabad abad lamanya dipakai untuk obat tradisional di Tibet dan China. Karena banyak dicari orang, harganya juga mahal sekali, lebih mahal dari harga emas. Rupanya dipercayai, Cordyceps sinensis ini bisa menjadi tonik dan obat yang bersifat anti kanker, anti infeksi, anti bakteri, anti oxidant. Bisa menyembuhkan gangguan jantung, ginjal dan juga mencairkan darah serta menumbuhkan sel sel darah merah.

Karena permintaan semakin tinggi dan Cordycepts sinensis ini hanya tumbuh didaerah tertentu di Tibet, maka akhir akhir ini banyak yang palsu yang ditanam dilaboratorium. Seringnya yang tumbuh dilaboratorium ini bukan jenis C. sinensis dan ulatnya juga bukan ulat yang sama. Dengan demikian khasiatnya menjadi tanda tanya. Karena bentuknya dimata awam sama, jadi sulit untuk membeli yang asli.

Memang sebelum tidur aku memikirkan jamur jamur cordyceps yang tumbuh dilaboratorium itu. Mungkin saja disuatu waktu, jamur itu akan bermutasi dan mulai menyerang binatang lainnya dan juga termasuk manusia. Tak kebayang tubuh tubuh manusia  yang tak berdaya itu… menjadi  kaku keras dan ditumbuhi oleh jamur jamur panjang berwarna jingga. Idiihhhh…. Ngeri deh, bisa dijadikan film horror nih!!!

 Moga moga malam ini mimpi burukku tak akan kembali lagi!!!!!!!!!

 Untuk melihat tumbuhnya jamur Cordyceps, inilah link dari YouTube:

 

Rhipsalis platycarpa Flower

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At last! After waiting for more than 2 months, few flower buds  of our Rhipsalis platycarpa (Mistletoe cactus)  have finally opened. Just as I thought, the flowers are small and dainty and the colour is pure white.

Here are the pictures of the flowers:

Flowers of Rhipsalis Platycarpa

So far, it is only very few flower buds open. I can’t wait till many more open and then I will post more photos.

Photo added on September 26, 2010:

****************

A little bit on Footy:

Collingwood Magpies are going to the GRAND FINAL against St. Kilda Saints this weekend for this year’s AFL Premiership Season………………

Good Luck Magpies! You’re Going To Win

 this Year… :o)

Euphorbia obesa…Rot in Peace

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I am very upset now! One of my Euphorbia obesa plants died. It was getting very soft and eventually it collapsed.

I bought two Euphorbia obesa cactus more than ten years ago. One day we went for a drive to the Mornington Peninsula and there was a Sunday market in Hastings. In this country market I bought a pair of Euphorbia obesa which is also known as Baseball plant. It was supposed to be a male and a female pair. The seller told me that I should buy a pair to produce seeds.

To cut the story short, one of these rare South African cactus plants, I think the female one, was never grown as good as the other one (male). It was always stunted and kind of yellow. Both had flowers but they never produced seeds. After more than ten years sulking and miserable, lately I started to notice that it was very soft and more yellow. I was already very careful during this winter to keep it dry and warm. But it did not help at all. Yesterday it completely collapsed. I took both plants out of the pot and  replanted the healthy one into a different pot and I cut the dead one into 2 sections to see what was happening inside the poor plant. The inside was mushy and it had holes (similar to lotus root).

For a long time I had tried to buy more Euphorbia obesa in the shop but it was not available. I can buy different species of Euphorbia, but not the obesa. I have two other euphorbias – E. anoplia and E. melbraformis.

Well, I have to be careful with my cactus plants now. No more over watering. I am really sad to think that one of those Baseball plants was slowly and silently rotting away…. or should I say that it was rotten in peace???

To view my previous post about Euphorbia obesa:

https://kiyanti2008.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/my-baseball-plants/

Euphorbia melbraformis:

Euphorbia melbraformis

Euphorbia anoplia

Rhipsalis platycarpa

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I bought an unusual plant early this year. At first glance I thought it was Epiphyllum, but on the plain-tag it was written Rhipsalis platycarpa and it had no other information about the plant at all. I love the beautiful shape of the leaves and the red burgundy tint along the edges. At that time I was not so sure it will flower or not, but the beauty of the plant itself was enough to steal money from my purse. Ha… ha…

I tried to get informations about the plant online but only few. Just like epiphyllums, it is an epiphytic cactus and it is also known as ’Mistletoe Cactus’. There are many species of Rhipsalis and all naturally grow in tropical forests around the world. Rhipsalis platycarpa is one species which originally comes from Brazil and Colombia.

Now, the plant is covered with many flower buds that grow on every nodes of the leaves. When open, they will show pale greenish yelow-white little blooms.

I just cannot wait for the flower buds to open, and when they do I will surely post the pictures.

Next follow-up blog about this plant:

https://kiyanti2008.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/rhipsalis-platycarpa-flower/

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