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  Monstera deliciosa - dwarf, giant or otherwise "developmentally
From: "Jay Vannini" interbnk at infovia.com.gt> on 2000.06.09 at 20:34:05(4700)
Julius -

Good to see that you are back from Guyana Francais.

Your observations on variations in M. deliciosa were interesting. Although
the "classic" version is grown in gardens everywhere here, come to think of
it, all of the wild plants I have observed in the western Guatemalan
highlands WERE somewhat different from that wildly fenstrated/lacinate (?)
thing that we all grew up with. While the leaves of indigenous plants get
pretty big and do "shot-hole" modestly, they look much more like the first
illustration in Birdsey's "The Cultivated Aroids" and identified there as
'cultigen Dwarf Ceriman" than the Oaxacan plants.

Question - I have a plant of the M. deliciosa 'albo-variegata' form that
appears to be heading towards giant, fenestrated splendor. Are all the
plants that you see in the trade propagations from a single clone, are is
this variegation fairly common in the population? Presumably this very
'coqueto' form originated in southern Mexico?

'dios - Jay

From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2000.06.10 at 21:29:14(4723)
Just some notes on history of Monstera deliciosa:

I have a copy of some files from Dr. Russell Seibert who was once Director of
Longwood Gardens. He has a file about Monstera deliciosa and there I found a
letter (dated in 1960) from a woman who was related to Admiral du Pont.
Apparently Admiral du Pont was on Admiral Perry's famous 1856 voyage around
South America. It was from this voyage that Monstera deliciosa was brought to
the US, probably for the first time. I believe this species was described in
1849, introduced to England (probably via a different collection and source)
and illustrated in Gardener's Chronicle in 1858. I have not checked the
Gardener's Chronicle to see what is writen there about this species' source
in England.

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.06.11 at 16:44:24(4729)
Hello Jay!!!

>Julius -

Good to see that you are back from Guyana Francais.<

Yes, wonderful trip, great companions, fantastic rivers and jungle, got
really lovely plants, a few surprises, and saw more beautiful species of
Morpho butterflies than I have even seen, even more than in the Ecuadorian
Amazon. Got most of the Bromeliads that my friend wanted, so that was
good. Lots of rain, heat, insect bites and overall rough conditions, but
well worth it to see and collect Anaphyllopsis , Dracontium, many lovely
Philodendrons, Anthuriums, Caladiums, Xanthosomas, and Urospatha (!!!) in
full bloom in their natural habitat, some were 'plants from hell' in that
they were HELL to collect! Brought back seeds of Phenakospermum guayanense
(spelling?) the giant Heliconia-like Musiod plant, amazing thing to see in
bloom in it`s natural habitat!

>Your observations on variations in M. deliciosa were interesting. Although
the "classic" version is grown in gardens everywhere here, come to think of
it, all of the wild plants I have observed in the western Guatemalan
highlands WERE somewhat different from that wildly fenstrated/lacinate (?)
thing that we all grew up with. While the leaves of indigenous plants get
pretty big and do "shot-hole" modestly, they look much more like the first
illustration in Birdsey's "The Cultivated Aroids" and identified there as
'cultigen Dwarf Ceriman" than the Oaxacan plants.<

Lots of people seemed to be confused as to which plant they had, and my
query about if there were ALSO small/dwarf forms of true M. deliciosa in
cultivation in addition to the Raphidophora tetrasperma (which Pete so
kindly informed us of) that only LOOKS like a M. deliciosa was un-answered.
I could picture everyone going out and labeling all the TRUE small Monstera
deliciosa`s in their collections as Raphidophora tetrasperma!!
Have NOT ever seen Monroe`s book/paper, would love to eventually read a
copy. Wonder if Monroe`s illustration of the 'Dwarf Ceriman' was a true M.
deliciosa, OR the Raphidophora that Pete mentions, and which Monroe had in
his collection, as well as true Monstera deliciosa?? IF poss., could you
send me a Xerox of the illustration from his book??? It would be great to
get a photo of the leaf of the Raphidophora and the dwarf Monstera on the
'L' for people to compare them.

>Question - I have a plant of the M. deliciosa 'albo-variegata' form that
appears to be heading towards giant, fenestrated splendor. Are all the
plants that you see in the trade propagations from a single clone, are is
this variegation fairly common in the population? Presumably this very
'coqueto' form originated in southern Mexico?<

Do not know where this form originated---my guess is that it originated from
a single 'sport', and I do not believe variegation to be common in this
species. I have only seen it grow to about less than half the leaf size of
the common 'giant'.

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