The European Cryptocoryne
Society (ECS) is a group of botanists and plant collectors. The group has set itself the task of observing Cryptocoryne
in nature and in culture and to collect knowledge about this genus of arum family and to preserve the species in culture.
ECS members have discovered many new species and hybrids in the past decades. Cryptocoryne
were examined in detail by morphological characterization and genetic analysis, as well as by counting chromosomes and evaluating electron microscopic images. Prof. Niels Jacobsen (Copenhagen), Jan Bastmeijer (Netherlands) and Dr. Josef Bogner (Germany) has described many new species based on the knowledge gained - often together with scientists from the home regions of the plants.
Plants from offshoots are vegetatively propagated and passed on within the ECS, so that most of the species known today are cultivated by several ECS members. These include species whose known natural sites have since been destroyed and which are therefore no longer found in nature.
Once a year, the members of the ECS meet for a meeting organized by a member that runs from Friday evening to Sunday morning. This meeting in 2019 was the twentieth.
On the day of arrival, all participants who were on time in Brussels met in the evening to eat together in a restaurant. After that, the first lectures in the conference room of the hotel were on the schedule.
Suwidji Wongso opened the lecture series with a report on the spread of Cryptocoryne
forms on Borneo.
Afterwards we got a travel report about the southwest of Borneo.
Jochen Degrell had continued his attempts to change the pH value in water from beech leaf soil from the previous year and presented his new results. He also shared his experience with LED lighting at Cryptocoryne
The evening ended with Claus Kettner, who presented the cultures of a Czech ECS member.
After breakfast, the ECS members drove to the botanical garden in Meise after breakfast. The traditional garden is located in a large park around a castle. Mainly you will find a large collection of trees there. 350 different types and varieties of conifers are planted here.
The different types of alder (alder cones), birch (foliage for shrimp) and beech (beech foliage for Cryptocoryne
) are more interesting for aquarists.
In the garden for herbs, summer flowers and perennials there are some concrete pools with aquatic and swamp plants (cattails, spawn etc.).
But the greenhouse was particularly interesting. The Victoria water lily unfortunately only showed a single faded bloom, but the Eurydale ferrox
and some other smaller water lilies bloomed. Scalares and rainbow fish, guppies and other fish swam in the large pool.
Back at the hotel, the young plants brought back from the cultures of the water chalice friends were exchanged.
At 9:30 p.m., the 40 participants gathered again in the lecture room.
Claus Kettner first reported on the natural site of Cryptocoryne annamica
in Thailand, which he came across while researching the Internet.
He then spoke about Cryptocoryne bognerei
, of which only 2 are known in nature. The species is difficult in culture and has only been collected twice in nature. At the natural site, the soil consists of quartz gravel and the water is very low in nutrients with only 14 µS / cm. New images of the region on Google Earth show that a large part of the forest in the area has disappeared a few months ago. Since it is a nature reserve that no one is allowed to enter, further details are not known.
One of the known natural sites may have been destroyed by a landslide. A short survey among those present showed that the plant is still in cultivation among 5 members of the group. However, it is difficult to maintain and hardly forms flowers or runners.
In his third short lecture, the speaker showed pictures of Cryptocoryne striolata
blooming under water. The plants were under water at 500 µS / cm and a pH of 6.5 on quartz gravel for 3 years. The species occasionally sets fruit and forms seeds that also germinate. Attempts to achieve targeted pollination by pouring water into the inflorescences of emersed plants have so far failed.
In the fourth lecture of the evening, Siwidji Wongso gave an overview of the Cryptocoryne
in Sumatra. There are 19 species and hybrids on the island, 12 of which are endemic to Sumatra.
C. minima, C. ponteponterderifolia
, and C. Wongsoi
grow in the north of the island. Further locations of C. bankaensis
have been discovered in the south. In part, Cryptocoryne cordata
occurs together with C. bankaensis
is located close to the location of C. nurii and plants have been found that may be hybrids of both species.
Last year a new collection of C. minima
"Amicorum" was made. Variations of C. minima
can be demonstrated in their entire range. In Central Sumatra there are natural hybrids from C. minima
and C. cordata
var. Diderici. Cryptocoryne nurii
"Platinum" is a pure species and widespread. The shape known as "Poseidon" because it has a bright pattern and trident shape on the leaves may be a hybrid. But the shape is fertile. Several locations are now known for the Cryptocoryne nurii
and a variation of the spathe color from dark red to yellow can be determined.
and its hybrids have a yellow, brown or red spathe with warts on the edge of the spathe.
In Central Sumatra there are now about 50 localities with different species and hybrids. There are also hybrids between C. nurii
and C. cordata
with a short flag and red, smooth spathe. This form is not identical to C. jacobsenii
Following his lecture, Suwidji Wongso and his wife Yenny Chen presented one of their drawings by Cryptocoryne bastmeijeri to Jan Bastmeijer, after whom the plant is named. Yenny Chen also drew the picture of Cryptocoryne cordata var. Grabowski on the poster of this year's meeting.
Suwidji Wongso and his wife Yenny Chen present Jan Bastmeijer with a drawing of Cryptocoryne bastmeijeri
In the 5th lecture, Klaus Härtel gave an insight into the chemical changes in the foliage of trees over the course of the year. Beeches store less calcium than other deciduous trees. They also have a very close carbon to nitrogen ratio and therefore decompose slowly.
The 6th lecture was by Niels Jacobsen, but because it was prevented this year, was given by Mr. Wongso. The topic was the chromosome numbers of Cryptocoryne
and their hybrids.
Next we heard a talk about Cryptocoryne
locations in West Kalimantan. Cryptocorynes also grew in small pools with fighting fish (Betta anabantoides
and Betta purshii
Mr. Wongso, who presented two presentations by Takashige Idei, which presented Cryptocoryne
sites in northern Thailand, concluded.
The 20th ECS meeting ended after breakfast together on Sunday. All participants drove home with some new insights and many new ideas.
We look forward to the next meeting, which will take place in Copenhagen in 2020.