Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Building an apirator to harvest gemmae (gemmae for sale!)

I needed to harvest the gemmae from my pygmies (especially Drosera allantostigma and Drosera callistos), so I decided to build an aspirator.

Apirator materials.
Total cost of this project: $6.
It was pretty easy! I started with an old Tupperware, then drilled 2 holes in the lid with a Dremel. After that I threaded in a couple of lengths of plastic tubing.

Apirator almost done.
It's not elegant, but it's functional.
I then sealed the tubes into the top and bottom of the lid with silicone caulk. If you inhale through the short tube it creates a vacuum that sucks the gemmae through the long tube and deposits them in the Tupperware. Don't test it until you're sure that the silicone is dry and you've vented the vapors from the Tupperware. I made that mistake and had a headache for a couple hours.

It worked really well!

Drosera allantostigma gemmae.
This is over 150 gemmae. That's a lot of potential plants!
However, I did end up accidentally ingesting a handful of these D. allantostigma gemmae. Most aspirators will have some sort of screen on the inhale tube. However, I solved the problem when harvesting my D. callistos gemmae by lining the Tupperware with a wet paper towel. The gemmae ended up sticking to it nicely and not bouncing up into my straw.

The D. callistos look so different now.

Drosera callistos sans gemmae.
They look like a puppy with a fresh haircut.
After harvesting the gemmae I packetized them and they are now ready for sale in my shop. If you missed out on gemmae earlier in the season now you can get in on that sweet pygmy action. $5 per packet, plus $2 shipping on your order. Get 'em while you can!

Drosera callistos and Drosera allantostigma gemmae in packets.
So many gemmae!

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