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  "Elephant Ear"???
From: jonathan.ertelt at vanderbilt.edu (Jonathan Ertelt) on 2008.03.13 at 08:06:30(17168)
The problem of how "elephant ears" are labeled would be hard to pin
on any one source without a doubt. When I look at the information
that has come in to Steve about Colocasia esculenta over the past few
days, (and granted I have not seen it all), it would seem that this
is as wide open a species concept as I've come across in the plant
world, as far as I can think this time of day off the top of my head.
When you think about it, in other genera within our own family here
(speaking of Araceae of course), the size or texture of a leaf blade,
appearance of the venation, or cross-section of petiole showing
different shapes can make the difference between species. But if my
understanding is correct here, this species concept is plastic enough
that leaf size, surface, appearance of venation, (i.e. raised and
rounded or angled, or flat), petiole appearance, position of
inflorescence, shape, size, color of inflorescence, and of course
habitat and resulting vegetative growth, and likely pollinator
differences as well between habitat extremes of wet and dry - none of
these things matter with this species. A most interesting dilemma -
it is no wonder that it has so many synonyms, both scientific and
common. When all the usual species defining characteristics are
thrown out, where do we go? With such incredibly wide degrees of
variation, whether one is using the common name or the botanical,
another could still have no earthly idea of the image of plant being
discussed. An interesting dilemma indeed.

Jonathan

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From: hluther at selby.org (Harry Luther) on 2008.03.13 at 15:56:46(17173)
Regarding Colocasia esculenta, remember you are dealing with a cultigen here, maybe undomesticated populations as well. These are under great selection pressure and may not behave as "regular species". HEL

-----Original Message-----
From: aroid-l-bounces at gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces at gizmoworks.com]On Behalf Of Jonathan Ertelt

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