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Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:03 PM

Garden in a bottle, anyone?



This miniature ecosystem has been thriving in an almost completely isolated state for more than forty years. It has been watered just once in that time.

The original single spiderwort plant has grown and multiplied, putting out seedlings. As it has access to light, it continues to photosynthesize. The water builds up on the inside of the bottle and then rains back down on the plants in a miniature version of the water cycle.
As leaves die, they fall off and rot at the bottom producing the carbon dioxide and nutrients required for more plants to grow.


Found on the I fucking love science Facebook

23 replies, 4703 views

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Garden in a bottle, anyone? (Original post)
Playinghardball Jan 2013 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2013 #1
niyad Jan 2013 #2
pengillian101 Jan 2013 #3
Viva_La_Revolution Jan 2013 #4
REP Jan 2013 #5
Brother Buzz Jan 2013 #7
Earth_First Jan 2013 #22
Brother Buzz Jan 2013 #23
femmocrat Jan 2013 #6
quaker bill Jan 2013 #8
secondvariety Jan 2013 #16
japple Jan 2013 #14
sad-cafe Jan 2013 #9
RebelOne Jan 2013 #10
Plucketeer Jan 2013 #11
Scairp Jan 2013 #12
BumRushDaShow Jan 2013 #17
pinboy3niner Jan 2013 #18
rickford66 Jan 2013 #19
aikoaiko Jan 2013 #13
tavernier Jan 2013 #15
another_liberal Jan 2013 #20
Walk away Jan 2013 #21

Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:06 PM

1. That is truly remarkable. Love it! n/t

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:13 PM

2. k and r--that is really a find

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:21 PM

3. Wow.

That's pretty cool. Thanks for posting.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:28 PM

4. great. where am I gonna find a bottle that big?

cause I gotta do that

edit: found an article
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/science/biology/article3667780.ece

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:31 PM

5. Look for Wardian bottles or Wardian garden supplies

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:40 PM

7. What you need to score is a fine old glass carboy

Plastic ones are easy enough to land, but used glass carboys are still out there. Expect to pay five dollars used. Brand new glass carboys can be had for $25.

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:22 AM

22. Yep. Readily available in homebrew shops...

Some bottled water delivery companies used to carry them, however I feel that is probably far from the norm nowadays.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:56 PM

23. Homebrew shops also have the six-and-a-hald gallon acid bottles....

with the screw top. They have no embossing lines and are optically really clean.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:30 PM

6. I have a big bottle, but where do I get a spiderwart plant?

I used to have a terrarium back in the 70s when they were popular.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:46 PM

8. I believe it is commelina diffusa

a common lawn weed in these parts, but it has pretty blue flowers.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:46 PM

16. And it turns pink

if gamma rays are present. I really like spiderwort.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:29 PM

14. If you want to pay shipping, I can send you a truckload in the summer. It invades

my flowerbeds, lawn, etc. It is a pretty plant, but gets a bit bossy.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:51 PM

9. That is really cool.

 

I have no knack for plants. To me, that is really amazing.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:00 PM

10. I would definitely love to have it.

I do not have a green thumb and forget to water my plants, so that would be ideal for me.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:08 PM

11. Take the cork out

so the "rainfall" can shift to somewheres else - put a floodlamp about three feet away from it - and watch a fast track demonstration of climate change.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:11 PM

12. It's a terrarium

Didn't anyone ever make one as a kid? We have two sitting on the end table in our t.v. room and they are over a year old. Geez....

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Response to Scairp (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:51 PM

17. This one has apparently been going for 40 years undisturbed. n/t

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Response to Scairp (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:58 PM

18. I made one 40 years ago

Using a glass Sparkletts water bottle I picked up at a swap meet. Unfortunately, I don't have it now--I gave it away when I moved across the country.

But I'd like to think that someone kept it going, and that it's still going strong today.

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Response to Scairp (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:02 PM

19. Yup

Built them in grade school back in the early 50's.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:13 PM

13. I've done the same thing multiple times.


With mold and leftover dinner in tupperware.

A complete ecosystem for sure.

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:45 PM

15. snort




But yes, as stated above, terrariums were very popular some years back. Unfortunately, my skill as a gardener guaranteed a quick demise to this little self-contained eco system.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 10:04 PM

20. I'll bet . . .

I'll bet the other side of the bottle looks like crap. He's just showing us the prettiest part.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:13 AM

21. This would not be a very good project for me....

I cannot leave well enough alone!

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