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  Rhaphidophora sp. at Fairchild Tropical Garden
From: "FTG Conservatory, Craig Allen" conserv at netrox.net> on 2000.06.16 at 17:51:23(4807)
I haven't had time to write until now...

The plant in discussion at FTG is
Rhaphidophora sp. FG74407 S. E. Asia
COMMON NAME: Shingle plant
SOURCE: Botanic Garden, Lae, New Guinea
DESCRIPTION: beautiful 2-4" round, silver-veined flat dark green leaves,
clasping wall. This plant has small 2" spadix barely emerging from between
the clasped leaves.

At Fairchild Tropical Garden this plant is now growing in the epiphyte room
of the Conservatory. It has attached itself to the concrete walls behind the
bromeliad tree. I also have Monstera dubia growing in a nearby area of the
Conservatory. The Monstera closely resembles in its juvenile state. They are
very different in their leaf texture. The monstera is fairly hard in
texture, the vine itself very fibrous and tough. The Raph. is very fragile
and crisp in texture, being damaged very easily. The Raph has a vein pattern
on a very dark green background but none of the silver suffused over the
young M. dubia. M. dubia has larger juvenile foliage with a much lighter
green background color. The leaves of the Raph are thinner and clasp much
tighter to their host. Many visitors have commented that the leaves look
painted on to the wall.

I had once told Jonathan Ertelt that it bloomed behind the clasped leaf, and
at one time it did. For the last year the inflorescence has begun to emerge
from between the tightly clasped leaves on a very short side shoot that
usually emerges about half way up the vine. It has two half hidden
abbreviated bract like leaves, then the 2" inflorescence. The white spathe
is cupped around a short spadix. After a week or two the inflorescence
fades, the bract like leaves yellow and the side shoot dies entirely. So far
it has never bloomed at the growing tip of the climbing vine.

Who knows what it might someday grow into. For many years I grew this tiny
little aroid, Pothodianum. The slender thread like vine and narrow 3/4" leaf
were so fragile. I put a propagation at the base of a tree in the
Conservatory. With in one month I was having to trim masses of the 12"
leaves and rope like vine off the orchids that it had covered.

I had intended to take a herbarium specimen of the Rhaphidophora when it
bloomed last year, but that never happened. Maybe then the identity might be
found.

Craig Allen

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From: "Peter Boyce" Boyce at pothos.demon.co.uk> on 2000.06.17 at 08:30:37(4814)
Dear Craig

This is VERY interesting and whatever genus your plant turns out to belong
(I'm now quite convinced that it IS a Rhaphidophora - see below) to it is
definitely an undescribed species.

Further, and contrary to my earlier emails giving this plant the name
Monstera dubia, this is clearly not going to grow into anything other then
what it is displaying already. It seems to be another of the extreme
neotenic Rhaphidophora species that are on New Guinea.

These extreme neotenic Rhaphidophora species are uncommon (five recorded to
date; three in New Guinea and Australia (R. hayi, R. pachyphylla, R.
okapensis), one in Maluku (R. parvifolia) and one in Borneo (R.
latevaginata) but none flower in the manner you have described for the
Fairchild plant, which is why I am now sure that it's new.

I am presently writing an account of Rhaphidophora for New Guinea, Australia
and the tropical Western Pacific and would be really grateful if you could
keep an eye out for flowering of your plant this summer and, if possible,
preserve an inflorescence or two into 70% alcohol as it opens. I will be in
Fairchild for the IAS Annual this September - could we meet up and take a
look at this plant?

Many thanks in advance

Pete

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From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2000.06.18 at 19:22:10(4831)
In a message dated 17/6/00 1:51:51 am, conserv@netrox.net writes:

>The plant in discussion at FTG is
>Rhaphidophora sp. FG74407 S. E. Asia
>COMMON NAME: Shingle plant
>SOURCE: Botanic Garden, Lae, New Guinea
>DESCRIPTION: beautiful 2-4" round, silver-veined flat dark green leaves,
>clasping wall. This plant has small 2" spadix barely emerging from between
>the clasped leaves.

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From: Jack Honeycutt jhoneycutt at uswest.net> on 2000.06.19 at 14:27:37(4845)
At 10:32 AM 6/17/2000 -0500, you wrote:

>It seems to be another of the extreme
>neotenic Rhaphidophora species that are on New Guinea.

Wow! This is getting fun!

jack

From: "FTG Conservatory, Craig Allen" conserv at netrox.net> on 2000.06.19 at 14:38:24(4850)
>I shall watch them daily to see if any flowers
>appear! Do they flower all year round or are they seasonal Craig?

Dear Geoffrey Kibby,

I made no notation on the record, but I seem to remember it blooming in the
summer while it is growing rapidly.

Craig

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From: "FTG Conservatory, Craig Allen" conserv at netrox.net> on 2000.06.19 at 15:04:18(4851)
Dear Peter,
I will see you in September, and will try to get an inflorescence preserved.
I want to ask Dr. Scott Zona to make a herbarium specimen.

Craig

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From: "Peter Boyce" p.boyce at rbgkew.org.uk> on 2000.06.20 at 15:12:35(4857)
Dear Craig (and Scott)

You're stars!

Pete

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From: "Peter Boyce" p.boyce at rbgkew.org.uk> on 2000.06.20 at 15:12:47(4858)
Jack

Yes, it is, although are so many new Rhaphs in New Guinea that
I'm running out of specific epithets!

Pete

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From: StellrJ at aol.com on 2000.06.20 at 18:55:35(4866)
In a message dated Tue, 20 Jun 2000 6:13:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
"Peter Boyce" writes:

<< Jack

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From: "Peter Boyce" p.boyce at rbgkew.org.uk> on 2000.06.21 at 17:34:29(4875)
Jason

WONDERFUL.

My mainstay for epithets is a very venerable 'Latin and Greek for
Scientists' that contains all manner of obscure terms and their
classical translation.

Pete

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.06.23 at 16:42:18(4895)
In a message dated Tue, 20 Jun 2000 6:13:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
"Peter Boyce" writes:

>

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From: Lewandjim at aol.com on 2000.06.24 at 17:13:29(4906)
Sorry this post got away from me prematurely. I should have also included:

In a message dated 06/24/2000 3:58:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Lewandjim
writes:

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From: Krzysztof Kozminski kk at kozminski.com> on 2000.06.26 at 18:42:50(4933)
On Fri, 23 Jun 2000, Julius Boos wrote:

> Back in the 'good old days' of the predecessor of this list on snail mail, I
> posted a letter to members pointing out that unlike SOME of the scientists
> who name plants in this group of organisms, there were others who did so,
> seemingly with a sense of humor, in other groups. Examples given then were
> the Trinidadian cave-living lizard Proctoporus shreevii (Shreeves 'anus'),
> and a genus of cave-living millipedes, given the name
> 'Caramba' (Spanish for 'upon my word, or better yet, DAMN!--I am NOT making
> this up!!) by the researcher Shear.
> The first species he names-- Caramba delburro ('the donkeys damn'), then
> came Caramba delnegro (easy on this one!) , then Caramba grandeza (the HUGE
> damn!) and finally Caramba enbecausius (because I say DAMN!)
> Take heart Pete, with a LITTLE imagination (I can assist with this aspect!)
> and some thought to the phallic 'background' to OUR group of plants, the
> list of available species epithets is truly mind boggling!

I plugged "lalapa lusa" into google search and it came with a really fun
page with taxonomical jokestry: http://www.best.com/~atta/taxonomy.html.

Some of the ones that caught my atttention:

Eucritta melanolimnetes Clark, 1998 (fossil amphibian) Loosely translates
as "Creature from the black lagoon".

Panama canalia Marsh, 1993 (braconid)

Draculoides bramstokeri Harvey & Humphreys, 1995 (spider)
(too bad that orchid taxonomists did not think about this one - KK)

Trombicula doremi Brennan & Beck, 1955 (chigger)
Trombicula fasola Brennan & Beck, 1955 (chigger)

Agra vation Erwin, 1983 (carabid)

A bunch of bug species named by the same entomologist, Kirkaldy): Ochisme,
Dolichisme, Florichisme, Marichisme, Nanichisme, Peggichisme, Polychisme
(read them out loud = I did not get it until Peggichisme) Kirkaldy was
criticized for frivolity by the London Zoological Society in 1912.

Pison eu Menke, 1988 (sphecid)

Another good page is: http://insects.ucr.edu/staff/yanega.html (click on
"Curious Scientific Names")

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From: StellrJ at aol.com on 2000.07.07 at 16:43:27(5008)
In a message dated 6/24/00 8:13:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
Lewandjim@aol.com writes:

<< The taxonomists dealing with live-bearing fishes beat you to the punch! for

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From: Lewandjim at aol.com on 2000.07.07 at 19:40:12(5015)
In a message dated 07/07/2000 8:07:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
StellrJ@aol.com writes:

<< That is because the live-bearing fishes actually HAVE phalli (at least the

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From: Jody Haynes webmaster at plantapalm.com> on 2000.07.07 at 19:41:06(5016)
> << The taxonomists dealing with live-bearing fishes beat you to the
>punch! for
> example:
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