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 Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday" 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:20 pm
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Location: Kyushu, Southern Japan (33.607N latitude)
Post Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Not been around here much lately. I did however have to share this photo of a nice group of Cyathea lepifera I saw in a old growth forest on Amami Oshima, just north of Okinawa, Japan. Pretty impressive to see a forest of these in person. I also saw an entire mountainside of Cycas revoluta... more on that later. For now, enjoy this pic. Tom

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Botany Boy


Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:47 am
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Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Hey Tom. Great picture and looking forward to seeing more.

Just got back from an alpine hike myself so will put up a travelogue shortly too.

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Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:35 am
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Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Impressive photo Tom, what are they beautiful plants, every species its own characteristics :roll: thanks.

Eduard.

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Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:01 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:46 pm
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Location: Madrid,SPAIN
Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Thanks Tom, I saw this species in Tokio but in a glasshouse. I think Okinawa is a great destination. Please make a great video as always!!

Mau


Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:37 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:52 pm
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Location: Hayward- S.F. Bay area Ca.
Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Make the move Tom!...start your own paradise in a paradise climate. I was reading that Okinawa isnt 100% tropical...not many Coconut palms there. But ,Crotons huge Pandanus are. Close enough!
I saw a program on moving to Okinawa..saw those plants mentioned and lots of palms that I cant grow.


Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:08 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 3:59 pm
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Location: Loughborough, Leics, central UK
Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Lovely photo Tom it looks like paradise fab looking ferns to be sure!


Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:08 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:20 pm
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Location: Kyushu, Southern Japan (33.607N latitude)
Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
I'm glad you all liked the photo. I'm working on making a couple of videos on my short visit there. Due to limitations on time and mode of travel, I could only get a taste this trip, and clearly this island demands a much closer look.

Looking forward to your travelogue Mark - just how alpine did you go?

Agreed Eduard. It is easy to think that all tree ferns “look the same”, or once you’ve seen a big C. cooperi than the others are look alikes. Clearly that isn’t so.

Mau, I’m working on at least two videos from the trip.

Stan, I wouldn’t mind living in a place like this. It is almost perfect except there is little work, so you’d have to find some way of generating capital through tourism, etc.

Kev, yeah, it does look like paradise. I was a little taken back by the cool windy weather with on and off rain however - my idea was more like Miami! Very different climate.

Amami Oshima is actually part of Kagoshima Prefecture on the mainland island of Kyushu rather than Okinawa and its islands. It is indeed not a tropical climate, sitting at 28 degrees north latitude (same as Orlando, Florida). Okinawa is closer to Miami's latitude - again, not tropical. The weather in winter is not unlike Fukuoka, largely cloudy with rain threatening much of the time, though the average temperature is about 10 degrees higher. It is a very windy place and it is not warm wind this time of year, coming out of the north/northwest. Nevertheless, the entire island is frost free and surrounded by a well developed shallow water coral reef system.

Here's a pic of a huge Cycas revoluta colony on the north coast of the island. It boggles the mind how many individual specimens must make up this mountainside of cycads. The large trees within the colony are Ficus microcarpa.

Image

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Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:58 am
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Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Hi Tom,
Amami Oshima looks like a very interesting spot to visit. Thanks for the pictures!
I was just studying a map and saw that Yakushima seems not so far away.
Yakushima is a fabled high mountain island I have always wanted to see with its vegetation gradient from sub-tropical elements to temperate.
Have you been there? Maybe it is getting a bit touristy?
Thanks for any thoughts!
Looking forward to more Amami photos.

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Ted

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Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:23 am
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Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Ficus microcarpa has a huge range from China and Japan to Australia and over to Bhutan


Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:56 am
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Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Nice pickys Tom, keep em coming. :wink:

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:48 pm
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Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Tom,can you post that last as full screen? How tall do the oldest wild Cycas get? I've seen some ancient ones in Europe near 20' of trunk. The Huntington has some near that. I think those were imported huge ages ago.
They and the F. microcarpa are bay area standards. With watering... :wink:


Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:50 pm
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Location: Kyushu, Southern Japan (33.607N latitude)
Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Ted,

There are no tourist free areas in Japan unless you want to go to out of the way places that people don’t know about. Yakushima is no doubt full of these, but you’ll have to avoid sites like famous waterfalls, the Jomon sugi, and any popular trails. I’ve not been there, but from what I can see parts of it remain fairly intact biologically, so diversity is high. It is decidedly a temperate place, just like Kyushu itself, though floristically tropical elements are everywhere. The hard part will be getting around - you’ll need a rent a car, a bike, or just be willing to walk. It is a great place to see ferns of all kinds (only one true tree fern though, C. spinulosa), orchids and lots of broadleaf evergreens. The islands south of Amami Oshima are much more subtropical, with Iriomote being the crown jewel for subtropical nature.

Phil,
Indeed this is a far ranging species, but then again so is the genus. BTW, F. superba was in these forests as well, but unlike F. microcarpa it really isn’t a “banyan” type.

Stan,

Sent you a PM. Cultivated C. revoluta typically get very impressive over time. There are true monsters here, commonly at public schools! The thousands of plants I saw on this trip were much more modest in size, typically only 15 feet tall, at most.

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Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:02 am
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Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Thanks for posting those great photos!


Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:57 am
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Location: Kyushu, Southern Japan (33.607N latitude)
Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Here are a couple more. The mountains are home to forests not unlike Fukuoka’s lower elevation forests, largely dominated by broadleaf evergreens in the Fagaceae, with the rub that subtropical elements are even more pronounced. Bird nest ferns are a common site. The species here are a bit difficult to nail down, but from the limited reading I’ve done, most appear to be Asplenium setoi (an unresolved name), not the often stated A. nidus or A. australasicum.

Image

Remarkably, the tree fern Cyathea lepifera can be found very close to the beach, often mixed in with large colonies of Cycas revoluta. I believe these are just outside of the salt spray zone, and during intense storms this area surely experiences salt spray. That isn’t surprising for the Cycas, but unexpected for the Cyathea.

Image

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Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:07 am
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Post Re: Checking in - just back from a "Jurassic Holiday"
Great pictures again Tom that first shot of the Asplenium in the tree's looks like P.C wallpaper for the exotocist.

Intereresting to see Cyathea lepifera growing with the Cycas revoluta a plant that grows well in my garden....hmmmmm!
Though I do have a few Cycas dotted around our garden nature does it better looking at that hillside ....awesome sight to see first hand no doubt.


Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:21 am
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