Subject : Fw: [Aroid-l] Santa Leopoldina just got murkier!
I have compiled several notes from Steve, Dennis and Leyland discussing the
ongoing saga of P. "Santa Leopoldiana" and have commented on what my
opinions are, in the case of Leyland Myano`s note I have commented withing
brackets [-----] after the paragraphs in his note where I wished to add
I hope this helps, and would like to hear what Dennis and other owners of
specimens ex: Bette Waterbury`s original plants have to say about my
suggestions re: an exchange to distribute/share the too-small existing gene
Thanks Dennis, nice work.
Dennis, from my MEMORY (and that is not of the best these days), when this
whole auction thing first got going w/ Betty Waterbury`s plants, there were
three original plants that I believe either Dewey or myself auctioned off
that very first year. I THINK that Trisha bought one, and Betsy another, I
don`t recall who got the third (I just re-read your note, Dennis, and you
answer my querry on these ORIGINAL three plants!) So now with Trisha`s
most kind recent donations, the IAS may presently have
repsentatives/offshoots of two of the three ORIGINAL plants ex. Betty
Waterbury, Betsy has the third.
Dennis, what about considering this suggestion---maybe we can convince Betsy
to eventually trade you one of her off-sets for one of Trishas, or two of
hers (IF available) in return for one of the IAS` AND one of Trishas, so
Betsy will then have offsets of the three "originals", and the IAS will also
have offsets of all three??.
Dennis picks the story of the IAS-owned plant and its propagation from there
If my memory is correct, the plants donated to Dennis/the IAS by Trisha are
VERY important, as they may represent another one of the original clones ex:
Betty Waterbury`s original aquisitions from Brazil, and therefor may be
different genitically to the IAS plant. We may never know with absoloute
certainity if the three ORIGINAL plants are different collections, OR just
divisions from one plant, maybe close inspection and comparison of the
IAS/'Dennis' plant to Trishas plants may show some significant difference??
We can compare Betsy`s plant to these at a later date??
The plants pictured on Dave`s web site purported to be this species are NOT
this plant, MOST of them appear to represent a species that has been around
a long while and has on occasion, either in error, OR as a ruse for profit,
been sold under the name P. 'Santa Leopoldiana' or worse, P. spiritu-sancti.
Others pictured also are various common species that have hastate lobes or
just elongate leaves, they are not the specie we are discussing, though they
may have been BOUGHT by their now- unfortunate owners as being this. There
are TONS of the distinctive, purple-reverse side to the leaves Philodendron
with longish internodes that grows at a very fast rate at many homes in WPB.
I`d investigate Mic`s photos more deeply (we need Eduardo`s opinion!!), as I
believe them to be very important, as these actually have a bloom and this
is critical to ID, and also show the shape of the cross-section of the
I`ll comment on Leyland`s note after each of his comments, so see below---
----- Original Message -----
To: Steve Lucas Exotic Rainforest
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2007 1:15 PM
Subject: RE: [Aroid-l] Santa Leopoldina just got murkier!
Just some more stuff for the murk:
These are some recent pictures I took of the Philo that the Aroid Society
has be auctioning off pieces of for years.
It's been growing in my nursery since a little after Betty Waterbury's
death. Two plants of the "Santa Leopoldina" were auctioned off the following
year and I held on to the third one to propagate from. I never realized how
highly it was prized until then. and we have been propagating it ever since.
Darn thing is slow even in my greenhouse. Recently Trisha Frank gave me
three little propagations that she had made of her dying plant by using
hormones to force breaks. those plants have now bolster our supply of stock.
Doctor Birdsey, when he was alive used to complain at the auction that he
had the same thing growing in the rainforest he called his yard, and that it
grew easily like most other phillies and he didn't understand the fuss.
Well, obviously he did not have the same thing in his yard otherwise he
would have discerned the difference. He probably had one of the imposters.
My pictures shows the pink tinged backside View A, and the leaf shape with a
slight bulge just before the anterior lobes begin View B, and the stem with
the short internodes between leaves.
I too have heard this anecdotal story (from Dewey Fiske) about there being
two types; one with a maroon backside and one with a slight tinge of pink.
At one time it was said that the red form had been sent off to be tissue
cultured but nothing ever came of it. They must not have been able to
isolate a clean living culture of meristematic tissue. Probably killed the
donor plant too.
How's that for murk.
Silver Krome Gardens, Homestead Florida.
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Steve Lucas Exotic
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 6:11 PM
To: Discussion of aroids
Subject: [Aroid-l] Santa Leopoldina just got murkier!
I had hoped the situation would get clearer regarding plants being
called 'Santa Leopoldina'. Perhaps it has cleared just a bit, but it also
has gotten murkier! Today I increased the number of plants from 5 to 11
bearing this name! Brian Williams furnished some good comments along with
photos which I have included on the blind web page.
Very important, as far as I am concerned, are some new comments from
grower Leland Miyano in Hawaii. For those of you who don't know Leland, you
should! Leland has an incredible collection of very rare philodendron
species on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Leland was a personal friend of
Roberto Burle Marx and worked closely with the master artist and plant
collector. Leland knows Roberto's property and plants very well. He also
knows philodendrons very well! I have a copy of a personal reference from
Roberto given to Leland which any plant collector would cherish were it
written for and to them!
Here are some of Leland's comments today sent in personal emails. I
have marked what I consider very important comments and information in red.
Especially his comment which I have increased in size and made bold:
Aloha. Thank you for referring me to your aroid-l discussion...I am not
subscribing, but you can use my information.
First of all, Philodendron'Santa Leopoldina' should be dropped from
common usage. It is of no help and other scientific names should be used
for the sundry imposters.
[Oh, how I agree!]
Secondly, I have seen two types of Philodendron spiritus-sancti and the
only difference is the color
of the underside of the blades. One is deeply burgundy and the other is
tinged. I have seen many of
these plants and there are many more in cultivation than in the wild.
[I agree---and we need to start a file of photos DOCUMENTING these plants
and their differences as outlined by Leyland]
The number 4 and 6 in your photos may be the same plant which I was
calling Philodendron billietiae. #4 is a younger plant and as it ages the
color fades from the back and the blades get wider and shorter in
proportions. If any Philodendron sold as P. spiritus-sancti has long
internodes or grows fast, it is an imposter. Even very small plants of
Philodendron spiritus-sancti have the short internodes. Philodendron
billietiae as a youngster is the easiest to pass as spiritus-sancti. Growth
in Philodendron spiritus-sancti is very slow...I have seen plants sit there
for years without gaining much length in the stem.
[ I agree on the growth being VERY slow. I have not seen the photos in
question. I know P. billetiae well, we collected THE best specimens in Fr.
Guiana a few years ago, a while ago I wrote a note on the VERY SPECIAL
specimens that ONLY exist in a tiny area I refered to as ''Joep`s secret
garden", one of these collected plants won best-in-show last year.]
I also think that someone or the aroid society should donate plants of
Philodendron spiritus-sancti to Fairchild and Missouri ( or any well-funded
and commited public garden) before the tissue cultured plants are released.
That will be a good conservation move. These need to be in a public
accessioned and well curated collection. The other danger is hybridizing
very closely related types...those of us who prefer pure species will not be
able to tell them apart. It may already be happening due to the lack of
specimens and or clones. This same problem has happened with cycads and now
the hybrid swarms are confusing everything...even before the species are
adequately studied. If the habitat disappears, then we will never know all
the details we love."
[I agree w/ gardens eventually getting specimens, BUT these things tend to
'walk' out of public gardens.
I don`t agree w/ the hybrid comments, as P. spiritus-sancti does NOT bloom
regularly, and to the best of my knowledge no one has ever managed to obtain
pollen (we tried this year with THREE blooming plants, SEVERAL different
blooms of TRUE P. spiritus-sancti, NO pollen was seen so none could be
collected!) much less seed and seedlings.]
In a later email Leland made this comment about some of the photos you
will see on the blind link today: "I took another look at the blind link
and the newly posted photos of some of Brian William's plants look like
[ I don`t believe there ARE any hybrids of this true plant, see my comments
And in a third email Leland made these comments, " This aroid-l has
opened a can of worms for me
again. I am looking at your photos and plants in my yard. #4 and 6 are
the same plant in my opinion.
Young plants are like #4 in that they are bluish above and burgundy on
the underside. They get longer and
greener for a spell until they get their mature form which look like the
figures 154-155 of Aroidiana (vol.
9(1-4))...Philodendron atabapoense. I forget how I got the id of
Philodendron billietae, but that is the
name I have used....maybe Dr. Croat can comment. At anyrate, my plants
vary and the mature leaves have
yellowish midribs and petioles."
[I don`t have the photos, so can not comment, but yellowish petioles and
midribs sound like a common feature on GOOD clones of P. billietae to me]
I have have also received few email comments from others with similar
opinions. As yet, I have not seen any comments from the PhD's and I am most
anxious for their comments to be heard. I know that several who read the
comments here are anxious to get to the bottom of this entire situation.
Here is the link to the updated blind link:
I hope those of you who are familiar with any of these "unknown" species
and/or hybrids will make your voices heard!
[Keep up the good work, Steve.
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