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  Homalomena/Dieffenbachia.
From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2002.07.20 at 13:38:06(9121)
Dear Jonathon,

I have seen this plant for sale at a nursery here in WPB, Florida, it is
certainly a species of Homalomena, NOT a hybrid between two VERY different
genera/tribes of aroids! It is a very pretty plant, but seems sensative to
sun burn and fungus/viral problems. I believe it is produced by tissue
culture.
To my knowledge there has been one intergeneric cross in the Araceae, that
of Colocasia with Alocasia, and these are VERY closely related genera, so
close in fact that there is talk of 'sinking' one into the other. I have
also heard through the 'grape vine' that there was a claim made on an Asian
'talk group' that someone had crossed a Xanthosoma with a Caladium , but
because of the ongoing confusion if identifying plants of these two genera
decisivly (there is a Xanthosoma aristeguietae illustrated as a Caladium on
pg. 208 of TGOA) this claim is probably based on a misidentification of a
plant as belonging to another genus. Caladiums have their pollen shed in
monads (single globular grains) , while Xanthosoma sheds its pollen in
tetrads (groups of four grains stuck together), so I am informed that
cross-breeding between these two genera is highly unlikely.
We must bear in mind that research on aroids is an ongoing discipline, as
yet nothing (or few things!) are cast in stone!
Hope that this helps.

Julius

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From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2002.07.20 at 20:44:21(9122)
Dear Aroiders,

Just a note. Some years (1984) ago Josef Bogner & Mark Moffler described
Homalomena speariae (Aroideana 7(2): 37. 1984.), a huge "Dieffenbachia-like"
Homalomena. Another "common" Homalomena, H. wallisii, that is also
Dieffenbachia-like, but a little smaller. Homalomena wallisii is quite
widespread in cultivation, and H. speariae was in cultivation in the past.
Maybe someone saw one of these plants and said it was an hybrid, so the
legend begins. Dieffenbachia has an unusuall chromosome number (34 or
polyploid series of it) and it must be somewhat hard to cross with other
aroid genera (except the other Spathicarpoids that are closer relatives).
My advice is: check those both species before believe that there is an
intergeneric hybrid. They really LOOK like Dieffenbachia, but they are not
even so closely related (Homalomenas are closer to Philodendron, as far as I
know). Dieffenbachia-like species are known in Neotropical Homalomena. The
real and interesting question is: Are Neotropical Homalomena and
Paleotropical Homalomena really the same genus? (someone from the molecular
side of the life to answer this?) Well, I have the same question for
Schismatoglottis (I have to confess that in both genera I do not believe
they are, but I have no consistent argument)... Well, but this is another
discussion...

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