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RainForestt Robert

When Virtual & Real Worlds Collide

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_Keith
Incredible photos Robert. Ryan gave me the info on the lens you are using. I'm not going to be able to stop myself from picking one up.

Now Dean. Scroll through this thread, and you tell me honestly, if a thumbnail thread even comes close to the experience. No way. We need to figure this out. Maybe IPS negotiate a secton on Photobucket, or something. It just ain't the same.

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PALM MOD

Keith,

Let's not muck up Robert's thread with this conversation. But two quick points --- What happens if Robert changes his hosting company next year? And one word --- Bandwidth. PM me if you want to continue the discussion.

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RainForestt Robert

Thanks for all the kind words! Kim, I have a whole section on the visit to Chester (what a guy) Skotak, but not sure I will get to it before I head out on vacation next week.

Dean, that 18 - 200 mm Nikon lens is very versatile. You get a relatively wide angle and a decent telephoto in one swoop. There is always something I want to add, but money is always an impediment. My wife says I need to make photography pay to justify the money I want to spend. We can start a thread under administration re: photobucket. I both agree and disagree.

Back to the show! I need to throw in some palm related photos here to keep this on topic.

Close to the entrance of the exhibit the Cocos nucifera leaflets were braided to make this very attractive feature. The braiding is done in a similar manner when leaflets are used to create hats. Lots of skill needed to make these look so neat.

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Heliconia 'Sexy Pink' provides nice contrast.

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Gingers in a rustic wheel barrow

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RainForestt Robert

If you look in the background of photo 1 in the previous post you will notice bamboo poles with a created crown. Instead of being supported by bamboo, some of these were hung from the ceiling. I believe that the green leaves are those of Carludovica palmata, the Panama hat palm. I stand to be corrected.

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RainForestt Robert

One of the interesting things about Costa Rica is its number of climatic zones. I was not surprised therefore to see an extensive rose exhibit by Solamente Rosas. The exhibitor spoke no English, my Spanish was close to non-existent, so few details were garnered. I don't grow roses, but I like to look at them.

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RainForestt Robert

Not sure of these flowers, but colorful.

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RainForestt Robert

If you were interested in the latest table settings there were many on display

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Avante garde center piece

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RainForestt Robert

There was an extensive succulent display and many container gardens. For those with limited space these palnts are very attractive.

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Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy'

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RainForestt Robert

More succulents. I am really disappointed that I did not get the names of these. I would appreciate it if any succulent experts here can offer suggestions.

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RainForestt Robert

Cordyline fruticosa 'Red Edge'

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C. fruiticosa ' Ruster Tail'

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C. fruiticosa 'Jacky'

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RainForestt Robert

A small bamboo water feature. Apart from the sound of the water, the filling and emptying of the bamboo, and the accompanying clackety sounds would make a good addition to the garden, probably scaring off transient intruders.

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Can anyone tell me about mondo grass propagation?

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RainForestt Robert

Agalonemas etc.

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RainForestt Robert

Anthuriums

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RainForestt Robert

There was wide variety of ferns on display.

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Asparagus densiflorus, not really a fern, but called the foxtail fern.

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Platycerium stemaria is a lovely staghorn fern.

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RainForestt Robert

More

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RainForestt Robert

When visiting the Arenal Hanging Bridges and Volcano our guide indicated that the monkey ladder vines, Entada gigas, as seen in the photo below, were often collected for use in the ornamental trade.

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Here they are used as a backdrop for philodendrons.

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RainForestt Robert

There were numerous heliconias on display. From the common H. rostrata to H. She Kong.

Heliconia rostrata

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H. 'Papa Orange'

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H. 'Red Caribbean'

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H. 'Corralisense'

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RainForestt Robert

H. bourgaeana. I found the color on this heliconia very attractive.

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H. caribaea

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H. She Kong

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H. Red Iris

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RainForestt Robert

H. Caribea Negra

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H. Islan Yellow

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H. Papa Orange

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H. Champeniana spp Mayan Gold

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RainForestt Robert

Heliconia bijai ssp Sunsing Orange

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Heliconia Champeneana ssp Splash

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That's it for the heliconias!

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RainForestt Robert

There was a big display on hydroponic agriculture, complete with examples of the type of crops suitable for this method, medium, fertilizers etc. Some of the vegetables looked as if they were on steroids!

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RainForestt Robert

The concept of recycling is heavily promoted in Costa Rica. The byproducts of banana cultivation are recycled to produce various paper items. A display showed step by step the process. It also compared how the banana paper was produced previous and the present day refined process. Very informative.

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A couple of days later I saw many of these same items for sale at the airport gift shop. They were a little more expensive that similar non recycled items. All touted the fact that they were made of recycled paper.

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RainForestt Robert

A paphiopidelum orchid on display

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RainForestt Robert

Of the many "floral" arrangements on display, this one utilized a palm infructescence.

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RainForestt Robert

Art on display for sale.

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RainForestt Robert

There were assorted crotons on display.

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Codiaeum variegatum cv veichii

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Codiaeum variegatum cv van Houtte

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Codiaeum variegatum cv. Mons Florin

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RainForestt Robert

Codiaeum variegatum cv Punctactum Aureum

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Codiaeum variegatum cv Show Girl

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RainForestt Robert

Final croton photograph. Crotons are really great companion plants for the garden.

Codiaeum variegatum cv Grand Paget

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RainForestt Robert

There were a few palms on display. Nothing special, especially after viewing cultivated and habitat specimens around Costa Rica.

Rhapis sp.

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A nice grouping of potted Licuala grandis.

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Cyrtostachys renda

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I really enjoyed visiting the garden club exposition. It was one of the unexpected highlights of the week. I wish that I had more time to examine everything in greater detail.

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RainForestt Robert

By Friday I was thinking that this biennial was a pretty good deal, definitely one of the best benefits of being an IPS member. I had seen spectacular palms and locales, met many new friends, put faces to the names on PalmTalk and really eaten a little too much. Oh yeah, I had collected quite a few seeds. Seeds really do need to be cleaned if you expect to travel with them. I don't enjoy cleaning seeds, and they had accumulated in the hotel room. My first attempt at cleaning had clogged the bath tub! I did not look forward to the task. Some of the other attendees spoke about staying up late at night cleaning seeds. When I mentioned this to my room mate, Donald Sanders, he suggested asking the hotel staff if there was anyone they could think off who would be interested in the job. After a lot of back and forth we found one of the gardener's assistants who said no problem, he would take the seeds home and clean them overnight. (This was Thursday) and bring them the following day. I would collect by 2 pm. So said so done. Best US$20.00 I ever spent.

There was much discussion about getting a phyto certificate. My comrade in seeds Ron Kiefert (Moose Knuckle) was in the same predicament. I mentioned that I would try to get one through Chester Skotak's company, Dura Flor. So on Friday morning Ron, Larry Noblick, Anders Linstrom and myself jumped into a taxi and headed out to Skotak's nursery.

A fine time was had by all at the nursery, we toured the shadehouses, checked out the hybridizing process, hung out in his office, checked out his property, collected a few specimens (Anders), discussed bromeliad production, discussed his book and hung out for a few hours.

Chester Skotak

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Larry Noblick, Anders Linstrom and Chester Skotak in one of his shadehouses.

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OK, I am off for a family vacation to palmy South Florida. No more posts for the next week. I hope you have enjoyed the trip so far.

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Kim

I'm SO jealous that you got to meet Chester Skotak and visit his shadehouses!! Had I known that was possible, I might even have given up my river rafting trip to make it!! Do you have more photos of his plants? He's quite the hybridizer, highly esteemed. Also supposed to have a wicked sense of humor, which shows up in the names of his neoregelia hybirds such as 'Hannibal Lector', 'Clarisse', 'Norman Bates', and 'the Governor's Plea'. Other names he's used are 'Inkwell', 'Brown Recluse', 'Gunpowder', and 'Predator'. I haven't read his book yet, but I hear it's a fun read.

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Jeff Searle

Robert,

Your cover on your travels are excellent. I've enjoyed it all.

Thanks,

Jeff

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Gbarce
Additional bromeliads

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Alcantera imperialis is really impressive in the landscape. Before going to Costa Rica I was only familiar with this bromeliad through Bo's photographs. I saw a ton of them over there. I was lucky enough to collect a few suckers in CR. The survivors seem to have rooted and are sending out new leaves. I anyone knows of a source of seed for this species please send me a pm.

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I think that seeds of these are pretty hard to come by because they flower once then die off and I have been told that they can take 75 years to flower. Seeds are also suppose to be tiny an will take ages to grow.

Over here people just propagate the tiny suckers. They speed up once they get a decent root system - I observe.

Best bet is to find yourself a young plant and just harvest the suckers. I think they also produce more of these tiny suckers when they are young. Larges specimens are suppose to make a lot less babies.

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RainForestt Robert

Back from the family vacation in Florida. A good time was had by all.

This is the final installments of this thread. Costa Rica is getting a bit passe. Time to start thinking about Brazil! But here are the last pictures.

We arrived at Dura Flor, Chester's nursery, about 45 min to 1 hour from our hotel. One of the first sights was of Alcantera imperialis and Aechmea blanchetiana, two of my favorite bromeliads.

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After meeting and greeting Chester ("Wow, one week looking at palms?") we moved on to the shade houses. I don't know a lot about bromeliads as yet, but there was a dizzying of shapes, sizes, colors and inflorescences.

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RainForestt Robert

Bromeliad inflorescence

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RainForestt Robert

In the hybridizing area we looked at workers collecting pollen and pollinating flowers. Chester gave us a lecture on the process of making one successful cross. It is not a short process.

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Seed trays

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RainForestt Robert

On the way from one shade house to the next we got our first view of these variegated Alcantera imperialis. Anders Lindstrom was very interested in obtaining a few specimens to take back to Noong Nooch. Unfortunately all but one pup had recently been sold. Apparently his variegated pups are bought and then sold at a 500% markup.

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RainForestt Robert

Back in another shadehouse ...........

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RainForestt Robert

After a while of going from one shade house to the next we stopped in the office and talked shop for a while. One of Chester's ranch hands struck a pose ...

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RainForestt Robert

After a while Chester said he had a palm close to his house that he wanted us to identify. We were happy to oblige, after taking advantage of his hospitality. On the way there, we saw many variegated broms

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