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  Dracunculus canariensis (corrected version)
From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2002.09.12 at 04:14:37(9396)
Sorry peoples the previous "draft" yesterday got away!

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, September 12, 2002 1:29 AM
Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Dracunculus canariensis

Thank you Bjorn & Sean for revealing the present occurence of Dracunculus
canariensis, one of the two "Dragon Arums" & some data of it in the wild.
As Deni Bown writes on page 133 (Aroids - Plants of the Arum Family) the
IUCN Red Book stated that in 1997 it was vulnerable. Deni mentions that
the inflorescence apparently has a semen like odour. I thought this quoted
information might be of interest to those who are symbolically passionate
about phalloids. Although I have no such interest in the genus with any
interested folks later in the year I might be
enthusiastic to look for the species & other flora & fauna in Islas Canarias
to see the current
situation & if necessary obtain material of definitive origin.
I do not know what present floral & faunal conservation efforts are in the
now intensively exploited "tourist" Islands. Over the past thirty years
mass tourism in the Canary Islands has exploded with seeming almost anywhere
being "ripe" for building. When one remembers the unspoiled islands
earlier with no "mass tourism" it is to me most tragic.

On a little seashore hill near El Medano three decades ago I found
incredible succulents & since the huge dune mound there is still undeveloped
because it is maybe unsuitable for "disco" development I think they may
still be there. The temperate-subtropical habitats of the islands are ideal
for a very wide range of aroids & so many other flora & fauna. Indeed what
temperate, mediterranean, sub-tropical & tropical species still grow there
in the many parts not trodden by crass modern tourism? It would be
wonderful to find out. Virtually ANYTHING can grow in the rich warm
volcanic soil there from xerophytes to Spathiphyllum!

So - It is wonderful to have alerts of where vulnerable wild species are so
that they can be most responsibly collected & saved for posterity before
extinction of
habitat. This surely is but one of the many key & enlightened
roles in which co-ordinated Members of our International Society can be of
priceless service to posterity?

Thank You Sean & Bjorn. Style!

Ron Iles Ireland

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