by Jan D. Bastmeijer
These pages are on the cultivation and taxonomy of plants of the genus Cryptocoryne (Araceae)
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Cryptocoryne bullosa Engler

Cryptocoryne bullosa is described a long time ago by Engler (Engler, 1879). Long time it remained a secret if this plant would be found again. Due to the efforts of Henry Kee Ong from Kuching (Sarawak) and Yeok Ong (Singapore) in the 70s, we know a lot about this plant. But it is not an easy to grow plant.

Click on the picture to get the full image (ca. 50 kB)

Cryptocoryne bullosa from the Sugai river. Note the almost black leaves and the short spathe with a prominent collar.
coll.: Kettner
photo Kettner
C. bullosa growing in the Sungei (river) Sibiak. 
coll.: Jacobsen 78-7
photo Jacobsen
Close up in the Sungei Sibiak. The water is very shallow in the dry season coll.: Jacobsen 78-7
photo Jacobsen
C. bullosa from Sungei Sibiak after arrival in the Netherlands.
coll.: Jacobsen 78-7

Another plant from Sungei Sibiak coll.: Jacobsen 78-7
photo Jacobsen

In December 1999, Yuji Sasaki collected C. bullosa in the Sungai Sibiak (the same location as Jacobsen 78-3 and Bogner 1357). No infloresenses were found.
photo Sasaki

A view in the Sungai Sibiak, where C. bullosa is found.
photo Sasaki

A b/w picture of Sadilek of C. bullosa (Sadilek 68). Probably the picture regards C. keei.
photo Sadilek
See the full picture (de Wit 1990) for the opened spathes. These spathes were collected around 1970 by Henry Ong.
drawing Ike Zewald & Juliet Williamson

drawing in Engler (1882) from the Beccari collections in 1876. Note the oblique position of the limb (not opened).
n Jacobsen (1985) is this picture of C. bullosa. The spathe is viewed in front.
drawing Marianne Krøjgaard

The distribution of C. bullosa in Sarawak is restricted to a small area.

Cryptocoryne bullosa is a rare plant. Though it is occasionally collected, I do not know of any success in cultivating this plant. A couple of reports actually are on C. affinis. The form of the leaves of these plants from Kelantan (W. Malaysia) are rather close to C. bullosa (Sadilek 1968, van der Vlugt 1969, 1970). Some import firms and retailers like to sell their (common) plants as a novelty! The more recent imported C. keei and C. hudoroi are much more easy to cultivate. But these are also very difficult to flower, so you probably never will know what you are cultivating. C. bullosa has a (dark) green upper side of the leaves without (in cultivation) brown spots.  See for the differences in the leaves the pages on C. keei and C. hudoroi for more details.
The spathe of C. bullosa is very short, ca 4 cm, with a red limb and a very dark collar.

Updated February 2000


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