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  Urospatha and Montrichardia
From: Piabinha at aol.com on 1999.11.15 at 16:22:34(3837)
at the california academy of sciences in SF, i bought a nice calendar with
illustrations by margaret mee. one of the pictures is of Urospatha
sagittifolia (?), i believe.

also, in the spring, i was in rio de janeiro, where i saw Montrichardia grown
at the sitio burle-marx.

does anyone grow any of these aquatics?

tsuh yang chen, nyc, USA

From: donburns at macconnect.com on 1999.11.15 at 16:56:30(3839)
Julius Boos and I both grow Urospatha and Dracontioides. Urospatha is a particularly
easy grower. I have Montrichardia here but am finding it difficult to grow.
Am not yet sure why.
And I suspect our friend Eduardo Goncalves is growing all three in Brasil.

Don Burns

From: "Craig M. Allen" cm_allen at yahoo.com> on 1999.11.15 at 19:31:12(3840)
We have Montrichardia arborescens on display at Fairchild Tropical Garden,
10901 Old Cutler Road, Miami, Florida 33156. 305-667-1651. It is in the pond at
the Windows to the Tropics Conservatory. In the summer we occasionally move
some to out door ponds.Recently I sent some propagations to the Shedd Aquarium,
Chicago. It probably isn't on display just yet, but they needed some for their
electric eel exhibit. Eels breed in the root mass of this species.


From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 1999.11.22 at 04:36:06(3848)
To all the aquatic aroid freaks out there, there is a dwarf cult. of
Montrichardia that I have collected in Trinidad, W.I. that will only grow to
about 5 ft tall, generally less, 'trunks' as thick as your finger, and it
blooms at this size! Has NOT grown larger with better soil and fert. as
one would expect. These plants grow in 'poor' conditions in two areas of
T`dad, one is in the gravel bank of a river on the N.Coast, another is in
the earth 'bank' above a small sheltered beach also on the N. Coast. They
grew well for me, and for a couple of friends who just stick the 3 gal pot
in their fish ponds. There are giant clones of this plant growing near to
these dwarfs, some to 15-20' with 'trunks' 6" in dia!!

From: "Jay Vannini" interbnk at infovia.com.gt> on 1999.11.22 at 16:14:48(3852)
Dear Mr. Boos:

Found your comments on "dwarf" Montrichardia of interest. I have also found
a short-statured (2.00-2.20 m) stand of Montrichardia growing and blooming
in a Bactris (?) palm swamp on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala. This
species seems to be fairly tolerant of different growing conditions there -
in the same general region, the Westin Hotel "Cayos del Diablo" has a couple
dozen similar-sized stems planted in a sheltered cove just behind the
tideline in muck and coral sand, but basically damp or dry most of the day.
They've been there for five or so years now, so I guess Montrichardia is
more amenable to drier conditions than I would have expected from seeing
them under natural conditions.


Jay Vannini

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 1999.11.25 at 16:43:35(3864)
>Dear Mr. Boos:<

Dear Jay,
Glad to hear from you!
It is interesting that you have observed this 'dwarf' form of Montrichardia
in Guatemala!! What interests me is that in T`dad this small form seems to
be genitically 'fixed', as if it is grown in 'good' soil and fertilized, it
remains small, and does not become a 'giant' like it`s 'cousins' growing
close by under 'better' conditions! I believe this illustrates how Aroids
seemingly mutate and evolve much more quickly than is presently recorded.
We had quite a long discussion in this forum on this point a while ago.
They will grow under drier conditions than one would expect---- a friend of
mine in Trinidad, W.I., planted it in a garden bed in his dry yard, way
above the water table where the only water received was from the on and off
rains and the occasional watering from a hose, yet this plant did well, so
well in fact that it spread out from the bed onto his lawn area where he had
to mow the emerging 'trunks' down with his lawn mower!!!!
I`d bet that the small form you found growing in wetter conditions in
Guatemala also belong to this 'small clone', and grew from it`s seeds!!
There is a great need for a revision of this genus! In T`dad one can
observe several populations of this genus growing close together, what would
be classified as M. linifera seems to favor fresh water swamps, while M.
arborescens favors salt/brackesh water conditions, and then there are these
'dwarf' populations growing in poorer, drier conditions remain an enigma!!
Also of interest is that my friend Joep Moonen tells me that in Fr. Guiana
the two presently recognised species in this genus can be found growing in
fresh water close to each other, but that the 'primitive' bird, the Hoatzin,
will feed soley on the leaves of Montrichardia linefera, NOT M. arborescens!
It too seems able to recognise the difference between these two plants!!!
There is a population growing high in the crater lake of the dormant volcano
on Grenada Island, W.I. that is said to look 'different' that needs to be

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