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  Homalomena seeds needed for research
From: Peter Matthews pjm at gol.com> on 2005.03.09 at 18:51:12(12783)
Dear Aroid L subscribers,

I am an ethnobotanist specialising in the history of Colocasia
esculenta (taro).

With a group of archaeologists, I am trying to identify some very old
archaeological specimens of what may be taro seeds.

The mystery seeds were found in sediments of the Kuk agricultural
swamp site, and are several thousand years old.

Our problem is that taro seeds look very similar to the seeds of
Homalomena - but so far we have not been able to obtain any
Homalomena seeds for comparison.

Because the seeds are very small, we are using scanning electron
microscopy (SEM) to look at the details of the seed coat.

Of special interest would be the seeds of New Guinean species (e.g.
H. aromatica, H. novoguinensis), but samples from any other species
would also be useful.

Also needed are seeds that range from immature to mature. It does not
matter if they are old seeds that are dried up and no longer viable,
and they can be attached to a fruit or not.

If any aroid enthusiasts can offer such seeds, for research purposes,
I can offer (1) a set of reprints on the history of (Colocasia
esculenta) taro, and/or (2) mailing costs.

Commercial sources of such seeds are also of interest, if any exist.

Any help with this research will be acknowledged in subsequent
publication of our findings.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Matthews (Dr)

From: "Peter Boyce" peterboyce at myjaring.net> on 2005.03.10 at 21:13:08(12786)
Hi Peter

I can supply you Homalomena seed. Please reply to me privately and we can
caht avbout how many species you'd like (we have c. 80 in cultivation,
though of course not all are in fruit at the moment.

Best wishes


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