From: <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2009.09.30 at 14:58:53(20101)
I saw these plants for sale at the show, and knew I`d have to try to address/explain the ''why'' of this sooner or later, so here goes, and I HOPE than Ron Weeks can forward this to our mutual great friend John De Mott at Redlands Nursery in S. Miami.
OK--I think that the plants in question were offered for sale by John De Mott`s Nursery, I guess they just stuck the word ''boos'' on the end for ''kicks and giggles'', or because I am in fact a co-author on the description of P. xanadu as a new species (the other authors are Dr. Tom Croat and Dr. Simon Mayo).
John, a GREAT guy whom I met just months ago (he was at the show!), had been investigating exactly ''WHAT'' P. xanadu is. He had gone through several thousand ''liner'' plants of P. xanadu fresh from the tissue culture labs, and chosen any which stood out or demonstrated by size, color or form gross differences from their siblings, his collection of around 50 (?) plants is remarkable! We wait to see what these unique selections of John`s may grow to look like!
My co-authoring the article where P. xanadu was described as a NEW species of Philodendron, and my second article also in Aroideana where I explained CLEARLY that P. xanadu was VERY different to P. bipinnatifidium, is said to have had implications. The original patent which protected P. xanadu from being reproduced by any other method except by tissue culture, and sold ONLY by the patent-holders was issued because it was CLAIMED that P. xanadu originated from seed of P. bipinnatifidum, and therfor was just a DIFFERENT form/clone of P. bipinnatifidium, which ''justified'' the patent. I understand that the description of P. xanadu as a new species somehow cancelled the patent, BUT--I am NOT certain on this point!!
As I outlined in my recent article, the treatment with various chemicals during the ''tissue culture'' process (one to ''dwarf'' it, another to encourage multiple growth/clumping, etc.) renders the commercially available 3 gal. pot of P. xanadu almost unrecognizable if one compares it to an OLD plant which has been left to ''grow out'' from this treatment w/ chemicals! This ''growing out'' may take years, up to 15 or more, or in some cases a certain single plant for unknown reasons may suddenly ''take off'' and grow larger, with the leaf blades/rear lobes greatly enlarged like any self respecting Meconostigma species of Philodendron SHOULD demonstrate! Sometimes IF one chooses a single , larger plant out of a group, and grows it by ITSELF, this may hasten the process. If one is vigilant, one might be able to find a few or one plant in a bed of OLD P. xanadus which demonstrate this feature. At this stage I also suspect that the larger commercially available Philodendron clone ''Showboat"" is just the same P. xanadu, but these plants have received no or MUCH less of the chemicals used in the production of P. xanadu.
I had a rather unpleasant encounter with a Meconostigma afficionado at the Aroid meeting, he stopped JUST short of calling me a liar! He claimed that P. xanadu NEVER ''grows out'' to demonstrate the ''normal' shape of the leaf blade, thet in his experience the rear lobes always remain ''reduced'', etc. I tried explaining to him that in my recent article, I published actual photos of two plants (Steve Lucas is presently growing one, Ron Weeks' great dog ''Luke'' made short work of the other!) which CLEARLY demonstrated that in OLD plants, taken out from a clump and left to grow over YEARS (15 +), the plants actually grow larger, and the rear lobes DO in fact change and enlarge to the point that it radically changes the appearance of the plant, making it a ''normal'' Meconstigma sp. with leaf blades as would be expected in a species of the group. His most unpleasant response was that I was the author, and that I was able to publish any photo I chose and say anything I wanted, that more or less I had published photos and information that were false! Let me add that I have observed these changes in some individual plants in commercially planted beds of this species, rare, but there none the less!