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  Am. titanum 'ghost' and titanum seedling questions
From: Paul Tyerman ptyerman at ozemail.com.au> on 2005.06.13 at 03:29:58(13001)
At 07:50 13/06/05, you wrote:
My limited experience is also
with other genera, and is exactly as George
described - 1 or perhaps 2 seasons of decline and then disappearance. My
Steve et al,
Until a couple of years ago I would have agreed with you
completely. I have had no white seedlings appear so I cannot
comment on Aroids but my understanding was always that no green =
chlorophyll = no future!
A few years ago however I had an experience that shows this is not
always the case. I sowed 6 seedlings of a rather uncommon
plant called Rigidella orthantha (family Iridaceae) and every one of them
shot pure white shoots. I asked on one of the bulb lists and was
told that there was little hope of there being any future for them so I
didn't hope much for any return. They grew for a few months but at
no time was there even a suggestion of green as far as I could tell, so
when they died down I expected that to be the end of those
I was somewhat surprised the following year when green growth appeared in
the pots. I had had 6 white shoots from the 6 seeds the first year
but I had 11 (or was it twelve?) green shoots appear in the pot the
following season. They were perfectly normal green and have grown
quite happily since then, which I can't explain at all given the
experiences of most people with no chlorophyll in germinated
seedlings. Not only had they returned but as far as I can tell they
multiplied during their first growing season as well. I do not
understand how this is possible given the lack of chlorophyll but
obviously there was some food being produced somewhere in the process,
enough to form 2 bulbs for each shoot. Rigidella seed are quite
small as well, so I think it is unlikely that food reserves in the seed
could have contributed much in the way of oomph to the new
I've contributed this story a couple of times to discussions on white
seedlings over the last couple of years (sorry if some of you are reading
this account for a second time) and no-one seems to be able to explain
why my seedlings not only returned, but seemed to have enough food to
produce more than a single bulb during the season without greenery.
It has me completely stumped!! It goes to show that there obviously
must be an at least limited food production in some all-white seedlings,
so it is at least a limited possibility that the 'ghost' titanum may
return for a second season?
While discussing titanum seedlings can I ask what the expected leaf
production habits of titanum are when young? I know that some of
the Amorphs produce leaf after leaf while young and tend to grow quite
rapidly as a result, while others only produce a single leaf and stick
with that until their first dormancy. I was expecting that my
titanum seedlings would most likely be of the latter variety, only
producing the single leaf before their first dormancy, but one of the
seedlings I have is currently sending up a second leaf beside the
first. They are a good few months old now and it only seems to be
one of them doing this, but it is still a surprise to me.

Should I be expecting that the rest of the seedlings will do this as
well, and if so does that mean that the titanum seedling will effectively
grow continuously for a number of years before it goes into it's first
dormancy? I am aware that apparently the approximately 18 month
leaf growth-span of a mature titanum seems to produce enough food to
initiate a flowering before the next leaf appears, but does that mean
that the seedlings continue as evergreens until they are large enough to
produce their first flowers? Or is there a continuous growth just until
it reaches a size large enough to survive a dormancy and then it enters
into the up to 18 month leaf phase until it reaches flowering size?
Or is it just unusual for them to send up a second leaf while young and
my seedlings is just a freak? I have tried to look for this
sort of information on the Net, but if it is there then I am obviously
not using the right search words to find it.
Thanks for any information anyone can provide..... I would just like to
know what to expect from my titanum seedlings.
I must also now apologise if there is a delay in my responding to any
answers to my questions. I am battling ill health at the moment (my
darn Chronic Fatigue again) and my use of the computer is somewhat
intermittent at the present time. I just want to make sure that
people who take the time to answer my questions do not think I am being
ungrateful by being silent..... it is more likely that I am just not on
the computer for a while.
Thanks again in anticipation.

Paul Tyerman

From: piaba piabinha at yahoo.com> on 2005.06.13 at 15:43:32(13005)
hello paul,

my one reaction to your post is that in the past i
have been surprised to find changes in tuber size
(growth) and even its position in the pot, changes
that occurred while the plants were supposedly
dormant, with no above ground growth. this occurred
with a Taccarum and some Dioscoreas. that to me
suggests that while plants seem to be dormant (because
there's no green growth), sometimes the tuber is
actively still metabolizing and growing underground.

is this possible or am i imagining things?

wishing you a speedy recovery,

tsuh yang

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