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  Dieffenbachia
From: mnadruz at jbrj.gov.br (Marcus Nadruz) on 2007.09.05 at 09:12:05(16218)

Hi?fellows?

I would like to request help of you to confirm this species is Dieffenbachia picta.?
Thank you

Marcus Nadruz

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From: criswick at spiceisle.com (criswick) on 2007.09.05 at 15:05:03(16222)
Marcus,

I would not have thought it is D. picta. For one thing it has white
petioles, whereas I believe that those of D. picta are green speckled with
white. Also the leaf blade shape is wrong. Can't suggest what sp. this is,
though, although it looks familiar.

John Criswick.

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From: chammer at cfl.rr.com (Bluesea) on 2007.09.05 at 20:43:09(16225)
My D. 'Sao Antonio' are smaller than this, but they do have similar leaf
markings with white petioles.
Russ
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From: abri1973 at wp.pl (Marek Argent) on 2007.09.05 at 23:30:30(16226)
I agree w ith John Criswick, that P. picta = D. maculata has geen stem & petioles.
Marek Argent
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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2014.11.08 at 09:20:21(23151)
Here in Grenada the native Dieffenbachia species is D. seguina.

I perhaps would not have thought very much about this were it not for the fact that Grenadians call these wild dieffenbachias, “seguin”, pronounced “siggin”. I’m aware that the name Seguina could be a surname, and the species simply named after someone with that surname. But if that were the case, it is hardly likely that this surname would have entered the vocabulary of the French patois-speaking planters and slaves of Grenada.

Therefore I am wondering what is the significance of this specific name “seguina” and also why do Grenadians call dieffenbachias “siggin”. Is anyone able to supply this information please?

John Criswick.

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From: Jason Hernandez <jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com> on 2014.11.09 at 21:28:05(23156)
According to Wiktionary:

Seguine (Italian): Compound of imperative (tu form) of seguire and ne.

And Seguire (Italian): (transitive) to follow or pursue. From Vulgar Latin root *sequire, from Latin sequī, present active infinitive of sequor.

And Ne (Italian): of it or of them.

In Spanish, I think of "proseguir," with the same meaning: lo prosigas, (imperative, tu form) "pursue it."

On the other hand, Wikipedia explains the surname Seguin:

Seguin is a French and Gascon name. It is of Germanic origin (sig-, that is, "victory", cf. modern German Sieg, and -win, that is, "friend", related to modern English "win").

I do know that sometimes local names in languages derived from Latin sound very much like the Latin name of the plant; one that comes readily to mind is Urtica (the genus of stinging nettle), and ortiga (the Spanish word for stinging nettle). But that usually only happens with genera, not specific epithets. On the other hand, sometimes early taxonomists would take a local vernacular name for a plant and incorporate it into the scientific name; if the plant was already called seguin for some reason, then Schott (who described it) may have used that existing name as the specific epithet. If you can find his original description, he may explain it.

Clear as mud?

Jason Hernandez

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From: Corey W <cewickliffe at gmail.com> on 2014.11.10 at 05:41:13(23157)

I wouldn't be surprised that it is actually based off that word, and all sources I could quickly find listed its meaning as obscure, with one mentioning it could be based off "seguin" as you suggested.

The answer may be in the original description, but that is from 1760 as Arum sequine Jacq. Even if it didn't completely describe the etymology it may say if the original description was of a plant from a specific set of islands, like Grenada, in which case you may have as direct an answer as you will get.

I don't have a chance to look, but there may be a copy of that description scanned somewhere on the internet. I've found scans from a similar period for other species so not impossible, especially as more herbariums are print their catalogs online.

Reading the lesson description may be a whole other set of issues though ;)

Corey

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2014.11.11 at 03:16:06(23161)
Thank you very much for that information. I should like to know from which island the collection was made.

John.

From: aroid-l-bounces@www.gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces@www.gizmoworks.com] On Behalf Of Corey W

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From: Jason Hernandez <jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com> on 2016.07.10 at 02:01:56(23662)
" I may not have fully understood if it was being suggested they might be the same thing/plant/drink."

No. I was giving them as two different examples of plants whose Native American names were adopted by white settlers who had no name of their own for the plant.

Now, re: seguin. The Arawak language of the Caribbean is lost, except for a partial word list compiled from Spanish colonial records. If it should be that seguin was borrowed from that language, it may not be possible to find out what it meant -- if, indeed, it ever meant anything other than that particular kind of plant. I have to add that last caveat because, well, asking what a plant common name means is rather like asking what the word "maple" means. It may be an understandable question for someone from a country where maples do not grow, but the only answer is that "maple" means that particular kind of tree. It has no other meaning.

Okay, I was pretty sure this subject had been discussed before, but now that I search the Aroid-L archives, I can't find it.

Jason Hernandez

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