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  Synandrospadix vermitoxicus
From: paul at rareplants.co.uk (Paul Christian) on 1998.09.07 at 17:40:54(2582)
Hello,

I wonder if anyone is able to help me at all with this Argentinian
Aroid. I have just received two photographs and a name, in advance of
some corms. Before I kill the little beasties I wondered if anyone has
an inkling of the plant.

I am told that it is in Deni Bown's book, but believe that is not now in
print.

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From: Steve Marak <samarak at arachne.uark.edu> on 1998.09.11 at 08:07:33(2585)
Since I am usually the one who initiates discussion of S. vermitoxicus on
Aroid-L, I have held my tongue - electronically speacking - for a couple
of days to give others the chance to respond. Alas, no one has, so I feel
compelled to post something.

Paul, my S. vermitoxicus is from Tom (Croat) and Petra (Malesevich), of
and formerly of MoBot. I've had it several years now, and it has proven
fairly easy to grow. It reliably breaks dormancy in early spring (March, I
think) in the greenhouse, usually puts up at least one inflorescence,
sometimes a couple, and reliably goes dormant about this time in the fall
regardless of whether it has spent the summer in the greenhouse or
outside.

I avoid giving it any water while dormant, but it has been tolerant of the
occasionaly light misting or splatter from reckless watering of nearby
plants. The soil is faster draining then my usual mix but otherwise
standard (I think I added some horticultural charcoal simply because at
the time that's what I had at hand). The winter temperature in the
greenhouse stays in the 60's (F) or higher by day, possibly as low as 55
(F) at night, but that doesn't seem to affect it's dormancy.

My plant slowly but regularly produces offsets, which Wilbert feels is
unusual for the species. I've promised him the next offset, and now that
the plant is going under for the winter I need to unpot it and see what's
there.

I've tried several times to get more information about the temperature and
climate extremes in its native range, without much success. I've never
gotten seeds from my plant, and would like to very much because I want
some additional plants. I did put one offset outside for the winter a
couple of years ago, but results were inconclusive, because I got
impatient and started looking for it, and the tuber suffered serious
shovel blight during the exploration. (It was intact - i.e., not rotted,
and seemed healthy - but had not started growth even though it was 60 days
later than when the plant in the greenhouse had put up leaves. Or rather
it was apparently intact before I started poking around.)

I'd certainly be interested in any information you have about the habitat,
especially the temperature ranges at the extremes.

Steve

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From: Aroideae at aol.com on 1998.09.11 at 15:35:27(2587)
Hi Steve,

I'll pass along the information I have on my Synandrospadix vermitoxicus
acquired from the Huntington Botanical Garden in '95. It is from a seed cross
of two collections from the same locale. Both were collected near Chujillas,
Bolivia along the Rio Mizque, at 5,700ft, in what was described as a
seasonally dry, rocky riverbed. It was growing along with Gymnocalcium
pflanzii v. zigarre and Neocardenasia herzogiare. The species was said to be
native to Argentina and Bolivia. Water is to be withheld in winter.

My plant has never made offsets but continues to increase in size every year.
Like you, I grow in a loose mix with good aeration, but in a relatively small
pot. I'm thinking of trying a proportionately larger container. It growns
easily in the greenhouse with 60deg minimum. I wish we could find out a
temperature range for it, but the above mentioned 5700ft is probably a good
clue.

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From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 1998.09.12 at 11:58:10(2589)
>>Since I am usually the one who initiates discussion of S. vermitoxicus on
Aroid-L, I have held my tongue - electronically speacking - for a couple
of days to give others the chance to respond. Alas, no one has, so I feel
compelled to post something.

..

I've tried several times to get more information about the temperature and
climate extremes in its native range, without much success. I've never
gotten seeds from my plant, and would like to very much because I want
some additional plants. I did put one offset outside for the winter a
couple of years ago, but results were inconclusive, because I got
impatient and started looking for it, and the tuber suffered serious
shovel blight during the exploration. (It was intact - i.e., not rotted,
and seemed healthy - but had not started growth even though it was 60 days
later than when the plant in the greenhouse had put up leaves. Or rather
it was apparently intact before I started poking around.)

I'd certainly be interested in any information you have about the habitat,
especially the temperature ranges at the extremes.

Steve

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From: "James W. Waddick" jim-jim at swbell.net> on 2000.07.03 at 19:07:08(4973)
>Dear All,

I receive the following note from the International Bulb
Society and am passing along for comments and advice. Appreciate any
suggestions for Andrew and please send comments to me if you prefer
privacy.

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From: "James W. Waddick" jim-jim at swbell.net> on 2000.07.03 at 19:38:27(4974)
>Dear All,

I receive the following note from the International Bulb
Society and am passing along for comments and advice. Appreciate any
suggestions for Andrew and please send comments to me if you prefer
privacy.

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From: Don Burns donburns at macconnect.com> on 2000.07.04 at 18:37:11(4979)
>Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 20:30:54 -0500 (CDT)
>Reply-To: edggon@hotmail.com
>Originator: aroid-l@mobot.org
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From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2000.07.04 at 18:40:35(4982)
Dear Jim and Andrew,

I still don't grow Synandrospadix vermitoxicus, but maybe I have some
information on Spathicarpoids that can be usefull. The first thing is that
most Spathicarpoids like plenty of light. In the field, they are usually
found in disturbed portions of the forest, mainly in sunny spots. Maybe some
direct sunlight (early in the morning, for instance) may make your
Synandrospadix happier. The biggest and strongest plants of Taccarum
warmingii as well as T. weddellianum are found under direct sun! The leaves
are usually slightly yellowish, but the tubers can become really big. Other
thing is that it seems to like well-drained soil. Maybe the substrate you
are using is too heavy for Synandrospadix. It occurs in rocky or somewhat
sandy soils at the Chaco vegetation, usually among spiny shrubs and small
and dangerous spiny trees. Believe me, the Chaco vegetation doesn't look
like the Garden of Eden! I went there once, two years ago, and maybe I still
have some scars... Maybe you should make the habitat of your plant more
harshy! Also, a good clue is to put some limestone (powder) on your
substrate. Most Spathicarpoids (with exception of the helophytes) enjoy it.
If nothing works, buy a ticket to Bolivia and let your plant go home! (Just
kidding)

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From: "Alan Galloway" alan_galloway at bellsouth.net> on 2000.10.23 at 19:01:25(5595)
I have a few seeds of Synandrospadix vermitoxicus availble.

If anyone is interested, please contact me directly at
alan_galloway@bellsouth.net (replies back to the list
will be ignored) for details.

Alan

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From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2000.10.24 at 19:03:58(5597)
Alan,

If a seed could wing its way over here I would be most grateful. In return I
can offer seeds of various Anthurium species as and when they appear (I
currently have A. trinerve, A. scandens, A. macrolobum, A. andicola in
various stages of berry).

Best wishes,
Geoffrey Kibby

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.10.24 at 19:06:34(5598)
>I have a few seeds of Synandrospadix vermitoxicus availble.<

Dear Alan,

Perhaps you should make contact w/ Lynn Hannon as she also has seed of this
packaged, this may prevent you guys duplicating effort and one person
winding up w/ lots of seed.

Cheers,

Julius

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From: "Alan Galloway" alan_galloway at bellsouth.net> on 2000.10.24 at 20:41:37(5602)
>Perhaps you should make contact w/ Lynn Hannon as she also has seed of this
>packaged, this may prevent you guys duplicating effort and one person
>winding up w/ lots of seed.
>
>

Julius,

We've already done that! good thinking on you part.

alan

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.10.25 at 16:31:09(5604)
>Perhaps you should make contact w/ Lynn Hannon as she also has seed of this
>packaged, this may prevent you guys duplicating effort and one person
>winding up w/ lots of seed.
>
>

>Julius,

We've already done that! good thinking on you part.

alan<

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From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2000.10.25 at 16:33:38(5605)
Alan

Just realised I did exactly what you said not to do and replied to the list!
Apologies to all, brain thinks one thing and hand does another....I need a
vacation...

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From: Betsytrips at aol.com on 2000.10.25 at 20:01:39(5607)
It is so nice to have company in the absent minded professorship.
Betsy

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.10.28 at 12:16:45(5614)
Hello Geoffery!

Do you have Taccarum wedd. as yet??

Let me know ASAP.

Cheers,

Julius

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From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2000.10.28 at 22:23:59(5615)
Julius,

Hi! No, I do not have Taccarum weddellianum! Have only ever seen the pic in
Deni Bown with the amazing spadix, about as weird as they come.

Best wishes,
Geoffrey

From: "Fausto Ceni" cenfaust at tin.it> on 2001.01.23 at 07:12:54(5852)
Dear Friends,
I am searching detailed notices on climate, ecology and
general life story of Synandrospadix vermitoxicus.
There is someone who can give me some advice on where it
lives, rain and temperature through the year in the home of
this plant, something about life cycle and hints to
germinate seeds? Who has seen it in nature?
Many thanks!
Fausto

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From: Al Wootten awootten at NRAO.EDU> on 2001.01.23 at 10:50:33(5856)
Fausto Ceni writes:
> Dear Friends,
> I am searching detailed notices on climate, ecology and
> general life story of Synandrospadix vermitoxicus.
> There is someone who can give me some advice on where it
> lives, rain and temperature through the year in the home of
> this plant, something about life cycle and hints to
> germinate seeds? Who has seen it in nature?
I once inquired, preceding a trip to Chile, what aroids I might find
there. I was told none, though there were plenty in various yards and
gardens around Santiago. I understand that this is one aroid which lives
very close, on the Argentinian side of the Andes (where I understand one
might find Gorgonidium vermicidum also) near Salta. This is the next
town from our site for the ALMA telescope array on the Jama road over
the Andes from Calama, Chile; sites near Salta were proposed also, being
touted as very dry. Higher is best, so the site was chosen at Chajnantor
near San Pedro de Atacama. If the weather in Salta is similar to that
at Chajnantor, the southern summer, sometimes called the 'Bolivian winter'
or more politically correctly the 'altiplanic winter' is the wet season.
During this period the wind shifts from a constant westerly flow over the
Atacama desert to an occasioal easterly flow up from the Amazon basin
bringing moisture to the peaks (and snowfall to Chajnantor, where there was
a several inch accumulation last week).

I'm not sure how much the weather at Chajnantor applies to Salta, but
we operate extensive weather monitoring equipment there, the data from which
may be examined at http://www.tuc.nrao.edu/mma/sites/sites.html
including photos etc.

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From: "S.P.J. Hoogma" s.p.j.hoogma at hccnet.nl> on 2001.01.23 at 10:53:54(5858)
Dear Fausto,
This is what I have on the subject (internetsite of Paul Christian --did not
note his URL--)
greetings,
Sipke Hoogma
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From: Tony Avent tony at plantdel.com> on 2001.01.23 at 13:36:04(5859)
Dear Aroiders:

Since we are talking about Synandrospadix, what is the coldest winter
temperatures that anyone has grown this plant? We have them some out, and
will know in spring, but just curious what results others have seen growing
this outdoors.

Tony Avent

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From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2001.01.23 at 21:39:59(5862)
Dear Al,

Once again, I must say that I have never seen these goodies (Gorgonidium
and Synandrospadix) in nature as yet, but I have read a lot of herbarium
schedules! (I am still lurking among dead plants with Andean Spathicarpoids)
Both Synandrospadix vermitoxicus and Gorgonidium vermicidum seem to be very
common in Salta and there are lots of collections known. Jorge Crisci in his
revision of Aroids from Argentina (Crisci, 1971, Rev. Mus. de La Plata Bot.
11(64):193-284) lists approximately 15 collections of S. vermitoxicus and 10
collections of G. vermicidum only from Salta province, and it was in 1971!
Many more were collected since then. Such numbers show that they are common,
because aroids are usually overlooked by plant collectors. Both species are
known to be fond of well drained rocky soils, mainly at the margins of small
fragments of forest or gallery forests. Synandrospadix seems to like sunny
spots or very bright shade. There is a tip: don't go during the southern
winter (from May to September) or you won't find anything. Most collections
were done from November to April. There is another tip: If you find one of
them, look around and maybe you will also find the other one. Tuberous
aroids are not so creative in South America, so they usually occur together!
Every time I find Taccarum I take a look around and also find Spathicarpa
and sometimes some tuberous Xanthosoma. It is common to find herbarium
collections with a inflorescence of Spathantheum and a leaf of Gorgonidium.
They occur so close together that it is not possible for a common collector
to distingish between two different genera in the field.

Best wishes,

Eduardo.

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From: Al Wootten awootten at NRAO.EDU> on 2001.01.25 at 16:37:40(5879)
Hi, Eduardo

Thanks for the interesting information on the collections of S. vermitoxicus
which you sent. As it so happens, no one likes visiting the 16500 ft site
during May-October, so our campaigns concentrate on the most favorable
months for aroids also. I may try this during the April campaign if I go
down.

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From: Alwyn Wootten <alwootten at gmail.com> on 2011.01.06 at 14:24:04(21709)
Happy New Decade all!

A year ago, my colleague Fred Schwab planted a few S. v. seeds I
received via this list and nurtured them along while I went on an
extended work trip to Chile. One plant died back several weeks ago as
expected; Fred checked the pot today and found a nice tuber of several
inches diameter. The tuber clearly needs repotting--any advice here?
Store as is until spring, as I would A. konjac? Pot it up? Leave dry
but potted until spring?

I posted a photo to the Aroid Socy Facebook page.

Clear skies,
Al

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From: Christopher Rogers <branchiopod at gmail.com> on 2011.01.07 at 06:37:36(21713)
Good morning!

Synandrospadix can be stored dry. I would dust it with cinnamon (cheap fungicide). You can leave it in the pot and soil as long as you are not watering it or keeping it where it will absorb lots of moisture. Just keep it cool (never cold). This is true for all dry dormant species. In the wild, they do not unbury themselves. It is a good idea though, for many horticulturalists to do store the tuber dry if the pot will get cold, or absorb moisture from below the pot, or get splashed when other plants are watered. It is also a good idea to unpot the dormant tuber to look for rot or pests. Besides, the plant benefits from the new soil mixture from repotting. But like I said, it is not necessarily required.

I really love Synandrospadix. It is one of my favorites. My first plant came from Enid. I later collected some in Chile.

Happy days,

Christopher

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From: Alwyn Wootten <alwootten at gmail.com> on 2011.01.08 at 08:07:21(21716)
Hi Christopher

Thanks for the advice!

Where did you find Syandrospadix in Chile? I didn't know that they
ranged there; I spend a fair amount of time near San Pedro in the
North but I have not seen any in Chile (wild or cultivated).

Clear skies,
Al
--
Al Wootten,
Joint ALMA Observatory

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From: leezmoney1 at comcast.net on 2011.01.08 at 11:21:28(21717)
Quick question....I have my Synandrospadix stored dry, I question when and how deep to plant it. It is approximately a 2 inch tuber. I am in zone 5.

----- Original Message -----
From: Christopher Rogers

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From: Don Martinson <llmen at wi.rr.com> on 2011.01.09 at 11:32:52(21720)
I also live in Zone 5 (SE Wisconsin). I have always kept my Synandrospadix stored potted and very dry over the winter in a cool (60F/16C) bedroom. The tuber sits about 2.5 inches below soil level. I have only unpotted it once in the past ten years, and that is when for some unknown reason, the tuber, which had already bloomed once for me, “decided” to split in two. I sold off one of the resulting, smaller tuber and the one I kept is finally reaching blooming size again.

Don Martinson

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From: Christopher Rogers <branchiopod at gmail.com> on 2011.01.10 at 06:54:32(21724)
Dear Al,

I inadvertently stumbled across a bed of a few dozen plants at an abandoned home/park area east of the La Serena/ Coquimbo area in 2007. It was obviously an ornamental planting. The area was near a stream that joined the Elqui River, and I had been directed there as someplace people had gone to fish. I was looking for crustaceans and found plenty! I really could not tell you how to get back there. I was directed there by a fellow who I met at my hotel in Coquimbo. The only other aroids I found in Chile were Lemna..

Happy days,

Christopher

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From: "Derek Burch" <derek at horticulturist.com> on 2011.01.12 at 10:30:47(21732)
Would the two or three people who have
this species high in their minds be interested in cooperating on a short piece
on it for Aroideana? Derek

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From: <llmen at wi.rr.com> on 2011.01.12 at 12:15:34(21737)
I would be more than happy to supply any information I can.

Don Martinson
Milwaukee, WI

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From: "Derek Burch" <derek at horticulturist.com> on 2011.01.20 at 14:16:15(21772)
Christopher,

A couple of weeks ago, when there was a
flurry of postings mentioning Synandrospadix I sent out a feeler to see if you
S.v. growerswould like to cooperate on a pice on this special aroid for
Aroideana. I have received some interesting notes from Don Martinson, but they
are not enough on their own to constitute an article. Would you be interested in
cooperating with him on a short piece with a picture or two. It would be good
to introduce the species to more members.

Please let me know if you would like to do
this.

Derek

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From: Alwyn Wootten <alwootten at gmail.com> on 2011.01.21 at 08:34:37(21785)
Folks,

My Synandrospadix still has green leaves. Should I withhold water and
allow it to dieback? I think I messed with its photocycle by keeping
it with my orchids under lights...

Thanks!

Clear skies,
Al

On 1/20/11, aroid-l-request@www.gizmoworks.com

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From: leezmoney1 at comcast.net on 2011.01.22 at 10:22:52(21790)
Derek,

I was the one who had originally inquired about growing Synandrospadix Vermitoxicus, but have zero knowledge when it comes to the species; other than I obtained a corm late in the year. I too would appreciate additional information in the form of an artcle, but unfortunately I am no help. Sorry....

Lee Zagrakalis

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From: Don Martinson <llmen at wi.rr.com> on 2011.01.23 at 12:01:27(21799)
I guess if it were mine, I'd keep watering it. When mine "wants" to go
dormant (I keep mine outside for the summer, goes dormant in Sept.), the
leaves just collapse, not even turning yellow. Kind of freaked me out the
first time it happened - thought I'd killed the poor thing.

Don Martinson

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From: "Denis" <denis at skg.com> on 2011.01.24 at 13:07:45(21804)
Somebody asked for a picture of synandrospadix vermitoxicus. This is the form I have been growing for about 10 years . This little beauty was given me by Julius Boos after the Aroid show years ago. I had never heard of thi I understand there are varieties with darker spathe coloration. Once it reaches this size as shown in the picture it flowers and fruits well and the seeds are easy to grow.. It sprouts from the corm/rhizome in march april and grows leaves and flowers quickly from the rhizome. Then it fruits With orange berries on the spadix wrapped inside the old spathe. Mine always go dormant by the time the Aroid show rolls around in mid- September. You can let it rest in the pot & soil without watering or unpot it and put it on the shelf in some peat moss to overwinter and sprout in springtime.

I assume it is a carrion flower, but I have never smelled the inflorescence stinking as being rotted flesh because I am not here in the nursery in the evening or at night. Be careful when handling plants stems, petioles and leaves as its sap is as caustic if not more so than Dieffenbachia juice. The name “Vermitoxicus” would roughly translate from latin as “Worm Poison” I do not know if this is an indication by the naming Botanist that the indigenous peoples used this plant as a wormicide for intestinal parasites or some other medicinal purpose. Whatever the reason it is a nice and very interesting aroid for the average plant nut to grow.

If you want to grow the seed you need to squeeze out the seeds from the ripe berries and remove the pulp stuff and also a thin red outer seed coating with a paper towel and rubber gloves. Using a pre-moistened peat and perlite soil mix in pots or trays push the seeds down into the mix about inch but do not cover with soil. Cover with a plastic bag or plastic wrap to keep humidity. They will germinate easily but somewhat sporadically as a group of seed. Then you will probably have more seedlings than you will know what to do with. The first year they will grow a small plant before going dormant in the Fall.

If there are any Botanists out there, please correct any errors that I may have inadvertently made. Steve would always have something to say about whatever I wrote. So, go ahead and ask them any if you got any questions.

If anyone wants one I am sure you can contact Enid Offholter at natural selection Exotics and she can send you one from her internet retail website. Unfortunately the little worm killers are all dormant for the Winter.

Denis

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From: Christopher Rogers <branchiopod at gmail.com> on 2011.01.24 at 13:22:03(21806)
No. It will go down when it is ready. Start witholding water when it starts to go down.

Good luck!

Christopher

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From: Don Martinson <llmen at wi.rr.com> on 2011.01.26 at 16:51:58(21831)
Her on-line store is currently closed.

Don Martinson

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