"Tacca integrifolia is an annual perforat Miami's Block Botanical Gardens.

I grow this plant in an oversized and extra well-draining pot, with soil to match. If the plant's growing conditions are optimal, this plant will often reveal itself as a controlled horticultural environment's first plant to show wilted leaves if favorable conditions get a little too dry; so it actually serves an important role as a decidedly low tech 'early-warning' humidity monitor in my greenhouses! Reapplying water will quickly reestablish the Tacca leave's turgor; evidencing its inherent resiliency.

Every few years when the mother plant get too tall and "leggy", I will efficiently propagate it by cutting off the extending tubers at the soil line, and immediately replant them touching the bottom of a new container with new soil media up to the emerging leaf.. In a few weeks to months the old pot's residual tubers sprout new plants, so in summary I grow and process this plant in a similar manner to most anthuriums.

In summary, Tacca sp. are straightforward horticulturally.... too bad more people don't do better with sustaining this freakishly beautiful ornamental flowering "White Bat Plant".

As an ethnobotanist, I would expect that there are a few respected growers in Bangladesh who understand and are successful working with Tacca sp. because its tubers are still used to provide a source of therapeutic chemicals used as botanical medicine."

Jeffrey S. Block, M.D.

Saskatoon couple breed lemon trees for Prairie windowsills

Retired engineer and plant physiologist breed small, low light lemon trees.

M.P.M. Nair, a retired engineer, and his wife, Karen Tanino, a plant physiologist at the University of Saskatchewan, have been breeding special lemon trees that thrive indoors in Prairie light.

Nair first started the project more than three decades ago, and now the couple works on it together. "It makes sense, that especially in northern regions where we're heating our homes anyway," Tanino said. "Why not utilize the windowsills to then convert that to food material."

The challenge is growing a lemon in low light.

Nair says a colleague of his wife's once told him he couldn't do it. "I ended up taking it upon him 16 years later that I fed him lemonade from my tree that I produced in the house."

"I've got one of these reputations, that if somebody says you can't do something, that I will make an attempt to do it if I think it's feasible."




lemon: Saskatoon couple breed lemon trees for Prairie windowsills