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  Forms of ZZ plant -thanks + a tissue culture question
From: epiphyte1 at earthlink.net (Adam Black) on 2007.10.25 at 21:20:03(16612)
I've been busy and haven't had a chance to respond, but wanted to give a
very belated thank you to all who posted on and off list to my inquiry
several weeks back about whether or not the several forms Zamioculcas
floating around were one or more species. And thanks especially to
Julius for clariflying that they are all simply one species and bringing
up the interesting fact that the "mainstream" form originated from a
spontaneous variation/mutation/freak resulting from the tissue culturing
process. Are there other tissue cultured aroids out there that are
noticably different than their wild counterparts?

My wife used to work for a biotech company doing tissue culture on
Pelargoniums, and when experimenting with various hormones
and stuff she was able to reliably create some very interesting things
that would surely be of interest to the horticultural world, yet the
artificial creation of new mutants was far from the focus of the
company's business plan and were merely byproducts that were sacrificed.
Seeing some of the Alocasias, etc that are available mainly
due to tissue culture, I wonder how many are actually noticably
different than the wild form? Have tissue cultured Amorph. titanum been
around long enough to see if there is any difference from a
seed-grown plant in respect to size, growth rate, flowering, etc? It
appears that all the micropropagated Venus' fly traps available today
seem to be dwarfed in comparison to wild flytraps.

I am in no way trying to bash the tissue culturing of plants, as I know
that some plants would probably not be around let alone available to
collectors if it weren't for this method of propagation. However, going
back to the topic of the different forms of Z. zamioculcas, I now value
my "wild form" of this species much more, knowing that the "artifical
form" will always dominate if not smother the wild type out of the
horticultural trade. It's good to know what they actually look like in
the wild, and to preserve this in cultivation. But then of course, many
species well established in cultivation (not in tissue culture) are
selections from wild plant populations with emphasised characteristics
(showiness, shape, size, fragrance, edibility, hardiness, etc) and are
also far removed from what might be considered the "typical" wild form
likely to be seen over the majority of the plant's range. Can
mutations/variations that pop up in tissue culture be considered
comparable to mutations that randomly occur in the wild - Artifically
induced freaks vs. freaks of nature.

Adam Black

From: ju-bo at msn.com (Julius Boos) on 2007.10.27 at 09:09:34(16616)
From: bogus@does.not.exist.com ()
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2007 21:33:25 -0000
Subject: No subject

Dear Adam,

Thanks for the kind words. Remember, I only suggested (in another posting)
that the Zamioculcas now commonly available because of tissue culture may
be modified and so be larger and more attractive 'selections' than the wild
'mother' plant might be. As far as I know little data is availabe on these
Like you, I like to have at last one wild-collected plant which the tissue
cultured plants can be compared to!
There seem to be quite a few 'new' cultivars/selections which are said to
have been individuals selected and propagated from batches produced from
tissue culture. Several Alocasias, Philodendrons, Caladiums, etc. come to
Michael Mahan reports that he saw cuttings of Zamioculcus for sale at the
IAS show for over $100.00, and others across the room, large potted
specimens, for $30.00. I think that we can say that the cheaper ones were
the tissue-cultured specimens, I only wish I knew more about the story
behind the specimens which were being sold for expensive prices!

The Best,


From: ken at spatulacity.com (Ken Mosher) on 2007.10.28 at 08:19:04(16619)
The very expensive Zamioculcas for sale at the IAS show was variegated.
That's why it was $100. There were several rooted cuttings in each
plastic sleeve and there were two available for sale.

-Ken Mosher

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