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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Isoetes spp. are ones of my all time favorite plants: pretty, versatile, and noninvasive. The last attribute is becoming increasingly negative however. I would like more of this plant; but short of splitting the modified stem (corm-like structure), I don't know how to go about propagating it. I've tried planting the individual quills without success.

Has anyone managed to propagate this plant through some OTHER method(s) than the division of the corm-like structure?

Thanks.
 

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A freind of mine has kept Isoetes sp. for the last 5 years. He has tried splitting but is loath to do it again. It is probably a good canidate for Art's tissue culture how-to.
___
Jeff
 

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Isn't the genus Isoetes one of the rare aquatic plants that has to flower to reproduce? I don't think it spreads by any other means.
 

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Spores, I have seen plenty of them. There are several papers out on the development and culture. They are very small, you'll need a scope.

It's not a true fern(Pterophyta), rather in Lycophyta(Club mosses and Quillworts). I recall it being homosporus.

I might be incorrect.

Uses CAM (malic acid) for CO2 fixation at night.

I'd suggest you not mess with it, rather just buy them from a vendor if you want more.

John Keely did a lot of work with them in the USA out here in Southern CA, he's now with Sequia National Park.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Now I have to wonder why I said 'flower' instead of just saying it had to complete a sexual cycle to reproduce. I suppose I should have just said it won't spread vegetatively like many of our plants and saved myself the embarassment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Propagating this plant vegetatively is not difficult because you can simply take a sharp knife and divide the corm-like structure, making sure that each piece has some of the woody base (the thing between the roots below and the leaves above). Each division will become a new plant. I simply don't want to go this route because I have a dense stand of about 25 clumps that I have no desire to uproot. I started with 2 plants and after repetitive divisions, here we are... :D

I was hoping that I can simply plant the individual quills, which detaches from mother plant with a gentle tug. Each quill has a bulbous base that I thought was a food storage organ (i.e. onion, garlic clove). Turns out, it's just a capsule containing the spores. :oops: Spores are a bit too out there for me to deal with. Hehehe.

I guess my options are (1) to uproot the stand and/or (2) to buy more. :? Thank you for all your inputs guys. I really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gomer said:
Think you can post a picture of it for us :)
Unfortunately I don't have one in stock.

plantbrain said:
John Keely did a lot of work with them in the USA out here in Southern CA, he's now with Sequia National Park.
There is supposedly a species of Isoetes native to Louisiana that is really short. Too bad that it is extremely rare (if not extinct) in the wild. The only ones in captivity AFAIK are in the hands of a few botanical gardens. I wonder if Mr. Keeley has access to it. I wouldn't mind getting my hands on one. We can call my tank a wildlife sanctuary. :mrgreen:
 

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I've been looking for information on this plant. I love the look, but after trying to plant it, I'm a bit unsure of what to do with it.

I tried to remove a few of the outer scales, each being the basal structure of a single quill. In trying to plant these, I found they float. After trying to re-plant these, they still floated. I finally planted a few single quills a bit deeper than my instincts would have preferred. But I won't be surprised if these do not survive.

I also clumsily dissected one basal scale, and saw the spores spill out. Gumby mentioned that this can produce more, so I'm wondering if I should "seed" a little pot of substrate in my grow-out tank? How does one know if the spores are viable or not?

How small can you cut the "bulb". I bought two that are about as big around as a quarter. Should I cut this in half? Quarters? How small is too small?

With such a nice appearance, I'm surprised this is the first time I've seen it for sale, and have not seen mentions of it before I went seeking more information.

Thanks!
-Jane
 

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Jane,

Did you get those at Ned's? I do not know if it will matter but those are probably emersed grown (notice the white portion near the bottom that I assume was underwater. If memory serves from the demo, each pot had several plants, each having 15-20 quills, like an onion w/o a defined bulb. I would think that due to the location of the spores that plant would be self sowing adn somethigntells me that logically, also based on the location of the spores, that they would need to be dried before planting to simulate drying and die off conditions in fall and winter
 

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I've propigated them on accident. Sometimes I have to pull out some quills that are covered in algae. If you've done this before you'd notice all the little white dots/spore things that come out of the base of it. After pulling up 20 quills and getting all the spores out, I ended up with about 5 tiny Isoetes plants in random places. It took about 1-2 months to see the little plants. One of them started growing out of the mass of Anubias roots on my driftwood.
 

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Christel Kasselmann describes a method she used to propagate Iosetes velata (Aquarium Plants, English Edition, p. 322):
".....The spores are mature once the leaves can be easily detached from the plant. The macrospores are still recognizable by the naked eye as small "balls" whereas the microspores are only identifiable as "brown powder." The author was most successful with the following method of sowing: first, the spores are mixed in a small container and then sown in moist soil. Once the little plants have achieved a size of several centimeters, they can be transplanted (see photo p. 70). Then can also be left to "germinate" in the water and be transplanted after. Regular sowing might be time-consuming, but necessary because fully matured specimens will often die off after the formation of spores. "
What actually happens is that the microspores grow into tiny male gametophytes that produce sperm and the macrospores grow into larger female gametiphytes that produce eggs in structures called archegonia. The sperm fertilize the eggs, and the fertilized egg grows into a sporophyte---the quillwort plant.
 
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