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  P. 'S. L, Dan and Ted--a reply!
From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2007.02.24 at 06:48:49(15335)
Reply-To : Discussion of aroids
Sent : Friday, February 23, 2007 9:48 PM
To : "Discussion of aroids"
Subject : Re: [Aroid-l] Philodendron 'Santa Leopoldina'

Dear Dan (and Ted!),

In our narrow "focus" on this discussion, we have most certainly ommited a
most important point raised by Dan (below), that being the inspection of the
sexual parts of the blooms, and comparison to a 'true' specimen of P.
s.-sancti (available in the fantastic botanical illustrations of Dr.
Goncalves).
What I write is from memory, so PLEASE confirm by checking on Eduardo
Goncalves' article with GREAT photos and illustrations of ALL aspects being
discussed.

A couple of comments will clear this up.---

1) Dr. George Bunting, who originally described the species, did not have
a bloom (fertile material), so Dr. Goncalves had to wait till he could
obtain fertile material, and only THEN did he complete his fantastic work on
clarifying and doing a new description, photos, drawings and all, INCLUDING
delailed illustrations of the microscopic sexual parts which are imperative
in a FINAL determination. He also gave invaluable information on the
width-to-length ratio of the leaf blade, very few or maybe no other species
of Philodendron as an adult produces a leaf with a blade that is close to
this ratio.
Ted, to address a point you made, this species has been recognized for MANY
years as being 'special, and plants from the original area have been in
collections for a LONG time (60 years??). Bear in mind that these plants
are suspected of living for HUNDREDS of years!
The material used by Dr. Goncalves in his description is certainly of this
species.
The reports of the small number of these plants surviving in 'the wild' are
VERY accurate, as difficult as it is to even comprehend, ALMOST the entire
area of what USED to be jungle is now cow-pastures, a very small remnant of
patches small of jungle remain, and the land and these priceless patches
(and the remaining plants) are owned by a man (a friend of Dr. Goncalves)
who recognizes this unique plant.
Read Dr. Goncalves' description of the width-to-length ratio of the leaf,
look at the photos and drawings, and you will and can have NO doubt if you
have or do NOT have or are dealing with a legit. specimen of P. s. sancti.

2) This species seems to bloom only occasionally, so obtaining blooms for
comparison w/ Dr. Goncalves' illustrations is difficult!
There is a photo on Steve Lucas' web-page kindly supplied by Mic Pasqual of
Australia of a bloom produced by his plant which is purported to be this
species, unfortunately the lower part of the spathe was not cut away so as
to be able to see and examine the female parts, but the hope is that Eduardo
can at least give an opinion as to the plant`s determination based on the
spathe/bloom and the photos of the leaves.

3) I have never seen any blooms on any of the other Philodendrons sold as P.
"Santa Leopoldiana", but they are all FAST-growing, vineing species, none
have the width-to-length ratio of their respective leaf blades, so can not
be included as legit. P. s.-sancti.
As discussed (read Eduardo`s article) 'Santa Leopoldiana' does NOT seem to
be a legitimate name, so basically ANYONE can call ANY Philodendron P.
'Santa Leopoldiana" and do with it what they want, so "let the buyer
beware"!!

4) In closing, I urge all growers to obesrve their plants, and should a
bloom be produced, take GOOD photos of both leaves and blooms (after
carefully cutting away a portion of the lower spathe so as to be able to see
the female parts). If no fertilization is attained, please preserve the
entire bloom in 'rubbing alcohol', there are folks who would like to dissect
and examine these blooms.
Steve Lucas is doing a wonderful service and a fantastic job of compiling
information, correspondence and photos of these plants in an attempt to sort
this puzzle out. He is doing so amid some pretty 'rough' attacks, etc.
Please bear in mind that neither Steve or myself are trained Taxonomists,
the FINAL word will hopefully be forthcoming from the experts like Dr. Croat
and Dr. Goncalves in Brazil WHEN THEY HAVE THE TIME TO EXAMINE ALL THE
POSTED MATERIAL!! Keep up the good work Steve.

Good Growing,

Julius

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From: <plantguy at zoominternet.net> on 2007.02.24 at 09:28:55(15339)
Dear Julius,

Thanks for the wonderful reply. As I said, I have no clue about this genera
and just hoped to learn a little along the way. I agree that the photos and
info that have been posted on Steve's site are a wonderful archive for all
that love these plants and even for someone like myself that is simply
curious about a plant of such importance in the botanical world!! I
sincerely hope that my naive questions were not construed as an "attack" as
that would be regrettable.

I look forward to other posts on this thread so that I may continue to
learn.

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From: "Steve Lucas Exotic Rainforest" <steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2007.02.25 at 14:09:40(15353)
Thanks for the support Julius. I would like everyone to
keep in mind I don't consider any responses to be "attacks", although I
understand what Julius is trying to say. To the contrary, I started this
to try to find answers and that is still what I am attempting to do. I
would truly like to know what the other unidentified plants in this discussion
actually might be!

I have tried to include pertinent responses from all sides of
this question. Some feel other plants have as much right to use the name
Santa Leopoldina as does P. spritus-sancti. And perhaps they
do! I just am of the opinion that since P. spiritus-sancti is of
such importance, and is now so endangered, perhaps it has more of
an inherited right to the name. My responses from Brazilian Mauro
Piexoto would appear to indicate just that. Certainly, it appears to have
much greater right to the name than plants that don't even come from the region
where the town of that name is found is SE Brazil.

I am just very anxious for Eduardo and other qualified experts
to join the comments!

Steve Lucas

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