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  If Wolffia is Araceae....
From: Jeremy P <drplantman at gmail.com> on 2009.07.20 at 00:25:07(19576)
Hello Aroid-L Listers,

Without wanting to open a proverbial can of worms (which may have never really been closed...), I do have a question about Wolffia, it's flower structure and thus its' (current?) inclusion in Araceae.

I'll give the reason for my question first, which leads to the actual query itself - we have many aroids on public display here at the RBG Melbourne, and for a long time I've wanted to interpret to our visitors that they can stand under the plant with the world's largest inflorescence (The fabulous Amorphophallus titanum of course) while trying to spot the world's smallest flowering plant floating on the pond... Wolffia.

So, my mind began ticking away at the finer details of how to tell the story, and became unsure when I put the statement "the world's smallest flower" beside the inclusion of Wolffia in Araceae, which as I understand it, is renowned for its' spathe/spadix inflorescence - having tried to stumble my way through much taxonomic jargon (of which my understanding is regrettably rather poor) I'm still none the wiser, and so we arrive at my point of query...

Does Wolffia have a single flower or an inflorescence? Seeing that in clear print makes me realise just how limited my understanding may be as I'm sure I can hear echoes of "it's not that simple" bouncing back already! I have come across mention of unisexual aroids flowers (on the IAS website, Genera page) but wasn't sure if that correlates to having an inflorescence... again a confession of my limited understanding.

So, with that all said I wait, with gratitude for any replies, to be educated...

Jeremy P



From: Jeremy P <drplantman at gmail.com> on 2009.07.27 at 05:04:16(19588)
Dear Matyas,

Thank you for your comprehensive and illuminating reply! It was exactly what I was after, and as I suspected it may, generated further reading on my part to try and get my head around the way things stand at the moment.

Thank you once again,




From: "Christopher Rogers" <crogers at ecoanalysts.com> on 2009.07.30 at 18:45:43(19599)
What a great response!

Thank you for all the information and the citations. I grow Lemna, Wolffia, and Spirodella. Do any of the references that you cite below have good keys to genus and/ or species?

Thanks in advance!




From: "Marek Argent" <abri1973 at wp.pl> on 2009.07.31 at 21:59:52(19607)

I don't know if it is good, because I've never used this:




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