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  Rapataceae
From: Piabinha at aol.com on 2000.04.18 at 20:32:55(4397)
hi aroiders,

i'm sorry this is not an aroid but it's still a monocot... :-)

does anyone know anything about Stegolepis and this family? i have seen some
of them recently and they are gorgeous fan-shaped plants with large and long
blades of green leaves. are they in cultivation? are they available
commercially? i thought the habit was so pretty that they didn't even need
nice flowers. does anyone know what the flowers look like in this family?

tsuh yang chen, nyc, USA

From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2000.04.20 at 15:33:17(4405)
Stegolepis is in the family Rapateaceae and members of this genus are from
Northern S. America. We have one Stegolepis collected from Guyana in the
Kaiteur Falls area. I don't know what species this is, but it does have the
fan shaped habit you describe. The inflorescence is a delicate looking
spikelet (that actually has a very tough wiry stalk) that forms a ball-shaped
head and corolla tubes of flowers are yellow-orange. I can't recall how many
flowers are in the spiklet or any other details, but it is a very interesting
plant with a dramatic distichous habit, somewhat resembling a smaller version
of the fan shaped Traveler's Palm (Ravenala madagascariensis), a unrelated
plant that is sometimes found in Florida landscapes. People who see this
plant back in our greenhouses often gasp in amazement at it and want to take
pictures. We don't usually have it out in display because it declines out
there.

I doubt this plant is commercially grown. It is very tender (requires a
greenhouse and very warm humid conditions, so is not a good house plant),
slow to propagate, and we never have divisions for sale. The plants do pup
out at the base, so if you find one, you might be able to trade or bargain
with the owner for a division. We just can't get into doing this on request,
sorry.

Donna Atwood
Selby Gardens

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