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  Alocasia Amazonica and Alocasia x Amazonica
From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at ExoticRainforest.com> on 2009.11.13 at 22:37:14(20272)
This one is going to be long guys and gals so please stay with me!. Since many of you are growing this plant you may find this interesting.

I am seeking the assistance of any and all the botanists and/or expertson this forum since I've uncovered an apparent new mystery and can'tseem to reach a resolution.

Although at least one plant seller on the internet advertises "Straightfrom the Rainforest to Your Home" while offering Alocasia Amazonica forsale this plant has never existed naturally in any rain forests of theworld. It is very well known this plant is a hybrid but the actualparentage has been debated. Alocasia Amazonica is likely a hybrid of Alocasiawatsoniana x Alocasia sanderiana but other crossesincluding Alocasia watsoniana x Alocasia nobilishave produced similar results. Other sources have stated otherparentage is involved so I'm not sure what the real parentage may havebeen, I only know it did not come from nature.

The plant issometimes known by the common names African Mask, Green Velvet, JewelAlocasia, Alocasia Polly, or Alocasia Alligator and commercial growershave sold it as Alocasia Frydek and as Alocasia Maxkowskii.

Botanical gardens rarely list hybrid plants on their website but if youdo an internet search you will find the National Botanic Garden of Belgium plus some "official" sources including the University of Connecticut and the USDA list the plant asAlocasia x Amazonica André. Unless I've got my facts totally wrong "André" refers tobotanist AndréMichauxwho lived from 1746 to 1802.

Since Alocasia Amazonica is not a species and at least the plantweknow by the name Alocasia Amazonica today wasn't even hybridized untilthe 1930's are they talking about the same plant? How could it be thesame hybrid if botanist AndréMichaux wrote about it before his death in 1802?

Now, for some background for those on the forum that don't normally diginto this kind of "plant mystery":

Alocasia Amazonica is not a species and has never been described toscience It does not grow naturally in any native rain forest,is notfrom the Amazon. The name should never be used in either theitalicized form or with single quotations since it is neither apublished species nor a registered cultivar. With the help of JohnBanta our friend author and expert Julius Boos was able to trace thehybrid to a nursery owner who during the 1930's and 1940's owned a nowdefunct nursery in the Miami. The nursery was known as the "AmazonNursery" and the grower is said to have named Alocasia Amazonica afterhis own business. The name has since been used by growers for over 70years.

Just in case you are confused, Alocasia species are allnaturally found in the geographical region composed of Southeast Asiaand neighboring island nations of the Pacific Ocean including thePhilippines. No Alocasia species has ever been found naturallyin Central or South America including the Amazon basin although specieshave been imported as well as set free and now thrive in the area.

Just in case one of our members believes Alocasia Amazonica is aspecies here are three scientific data bases. You won't find AlocasiaAmazonica on any.

The Royal Botanic Garden Kew, London: http://www.ipni.org/index.htmlThe Missouri Botanical Garden: http://www.tropicos.org/ WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families: http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/qsearch.do

Still, it is listed on the National Botanic Garden of Belgium website: http://www.br.fgov.be/RESEARCH/COLLECTIONS/LIVING/LIVCOL/list/l_113.html
and credited to André. Some experts believe the plant did notoriginate in Miami and likely was originally bred in Belgium, France orEngland since it is mentioned in Burnetts 'Cultivated Alocasia'. Idon't have access to that publication so I can't check out thesources. If it was hybridized in Europe, who did it? When? Was AndréMichaux involved? Did he write about it? If so, where are his papersand more importantly, is it the same plant we grow?

Are we talking about the same hybrid or was there a plant hybridizedbefore 1800 in England, France or Belgium that also used the nameAlocasia x Amazonica which was copied by the grower in Miami?

I can normally figure these "mysteries" out with the help of Julius,Leland, Tom and Pete as well as some of our other esteemed botanistsbut this one has me stumped. Josef, David, Wilbert and Simon, sinceyou are in Europe do you know anything about this? I'd really like tounderstand where the name originated and if we are talking about thesame plant that is commonly tissue cultured and grown today.

Thanks!

Steve

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From: Michael Pascall <mickpascall at hotmail.com> on 2009.11.14 at 22:13:03(20278)
Steve , you have got yours facts wrong .. google ...

Andre' Michaux and Wikipedia gives you some info and down the bottom this ;

The standard author abbreviation Michx. is used to indicate this individual as the author when citing a botanical name.[1]

Michael Pascall,

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From: "Famille FERRY" <jpcferry2 at wanadoo.fr> on 2009.11.15 at 02:22:11(20279)
Dear Steve,

I do not master the English and I do not fully understand your message.

We speak whith French ? Edouard Andr or Andr Michaux?

I took the opportunity to recall that Anthurium andraeanum is dedicated to Edouard Andr. It is her friend Linden who has dedicated this species.

Andr is the official name of the french botanist douard Andr (1840- 1911).

Andr Michaux, born March 7, 1746 in Versailles, died October 11, 1802 in Tamatave (Madagascar), was a botanist and explorer French.

It is very interesting to understand the origin of names.

Steve thank you very much for your detective work. It is exciting.

Best regards ,

Genevive

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2009.11.15 at 05:24:51(20280)
Steve, it might beworth investigating the grower whose surname is Andre, who exported Cordylinesfrom Trinidad in the early 20th centuryand possibly late 19th. I believe that the species Anthuriumandreanum was named after him. There is a cordyline cv. named Madame EugenieAndre, who I believe was his wife. I have it in fact. Unfortunately I can’tremember Andre’s first name. Somewhere I have a copy of a magazinepublished by the Trinidad and Tobago Horticultural Society in whichthere is an article on Andre. I seem to think that he also grew anthuriums himselfand this was probably the common pink “West Indian” cv. of A.andreanum, which has almost disappeared now.

So here could be yourmysterious Andre ! Obviously a person’s first name is not usually usedin creating botanical names, so if Andre Michaux was involved, the name wouldbe Alocasia x Amazonica Michaux.

Quite possibly Andrewas Belgian, or if not, French.

If this is the correctAndre, it would bring the whole thing forward by a century. I don’t knowif Andre was still around in the 1930s when Alocasia x amazonica was hybridized.

Julius might be ableto help here, as his brother Hans in Trinidadmight have more information.

John.

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From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at ExoticRainforest.com> on 2009.11.15 at 06:18:25(20284)
I've been told my "database" ofbotanists may have given me the wrong name. Thereare apparently two French botanists known as André, Edouard F André(1840-1911) and his son René Edouard André(1867-1942).

Can anyone confirm if one of these is the André in question?

Steve

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From: "Marek Argent" <abri1973 at wp.pl> on 2009.11.15 at 08:30:52(20285)
Hi Steve,

I will add other probable parents of A. amazonica = (A. longiloba 'Lowii' A. sanderiana).

Its leaf margins are undulate, while in A. longiloba they are entire and A. sanderiana has deep lobes.

Alocasia 'Polly' is a newer cultivar, it is more robust, and the leaf venation is thicker.

Alocasia 'Frydek' or 'Freydyk' or 'Maxkowskii' are probably cultivars or hybrids of A. micholitziana, their leaves are velvety.

I'm sending you links to photos of these plants, not to pages.

My pages about these plants were made 6-7 years ago,

and there are a lot of errors in the descriptions. The photos are identified correctly.

http://www.wschowa.com/abrimaal/araceum/alocasia/amaz.jpg amazonica

http://www.wschowa.com/abrimaal/araceum/alocasia/polly1.jpg 'Polly'

http://www.wschowa.com/abrimaal/araceum/alocasia/grnlf1.jpg micholitziana 'Maxkowskii'

http://www.wschowa.com/abrimaal/araceum/alocasia/lowii2.jpg longiloba 'Lowii'

Being regarded as a hybrid species, the name "amazonica" should be italicized:

Alocasia amazonica hort.

If something changed recently (during 5-6 years), please don't kill me for false info.

Best,

Marek

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From: "Famille FERRY" <jpcferry2 at wanadoo.fr> on 2009.11.15 at 09:21:36(20286)
Dear Steve,

It is Edouard F. Andr (1840 - 1911). He is a contemporary of Linden

(1817-1898).

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2009.11.15 at 10:32:49(20288)
Now it gets even more interesting! Edouard’s son Rene could well be the man who owned a plantation inTrinidad, and his dates do not rule him out as having some connection with Alocasia x amazonica hort., although if sohe would have to have had some connection with the owner of Amazon Nursery inMiami.

John.

From: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com[mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com] OnBehalf Of ExoticRainforest

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From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at ExoticRainforest.com> on 2009.11.15 at 12:33:47(20292)
If anyone gets "killed" it willlikely be me for stirring up another hornet's nest! I believe you arelikely correct on these but would really like to hear from some of thefolks that have a serious understanding of how all this came to be,especially the notation on the Belgium garden site.

Steve

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From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2009.11.15 at 12:39:34(20293)
Could be John. There is also André,Edouard F André(1840-1911) and his son René Edouard André(1867-1942). It appears the former is the one that gets the creditusing the name André but I need some further verificationto be certain.

Steve

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From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at ExoticRainforest.com> on 2009.11.15 at 12:44:47(20294)
Thanks Geneviève! This helps me tounderstand more of what I've been trying to learn. My question nowwould be how did ÉdouardAndré write about a hybrid plant that in theory didn't exist at thetime he died? Had someone already done the cross much earlier? Are wetalking about the same cross?

Anyone??

Steve

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From: "Tom Croat" <Thomas.Croat at mobot.org> on 2009.11.16 at 15:56:18(20302)
Steve:

I am pretty sure that it was EFAndre who did most of the collecting and botany work that we know of.

Tom

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From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at ExoticRainforest.com> on 2009.11.16 at 18:59:16(20305)
Thanks Tom. I finally got the inforight from several of the regulars on Aroid l. Still, I'm lost as tohow his name is associated with Alocasia x amazonica since he died morethan 40 years before it came into existence.

Steve

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From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2009.11.16 at 19:30:54(20307)
I was just sent this: "Andréseems to have validated several nothospecific Alocasia in RevueHorticole and Alocasia amazonica might be one of them."

My question still remains. How did André validate a plant hybridizedafter he died?

I'm doing all I can to keep this updated on this page: http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Alocasia%20micholitziana%20%20pc.html

Steve

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From: <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2009.11.17 at 06:05:11(20314)
Dear All,

Marek`s note (below) confirms what I have been suspecting and saying for quite a long time--- since the ORIGINAL hybrid named A. X "Amazonica" was created by Salvatori (Sam) Mauro at his nursery in Miami by crossing A. sanderiana with A. watsoniana, and the resulting hybrid named after his nursery (Amazon Nursery) around 1950, as adult plants were viewed at his nursery in the late 1950`s.
 I STRONGLY suspect that others who wish to remain nameless have made OTHER crosses with A. sanderiana using OTHER species of alocasia such as A. lowii, etc., some of these newer hybrids have been placed in tissue culture and sold under the name A. ''Amazonica'', some with new cultivar names as mentioned by Marek ("Polly", etc.) tacked on.  All add to the confusion.  Steve will post the end-all to this whole puzzle perhaps later today.
Thanks for your input, Marek!
Good Growing,

Julius

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From: "Marek Argent" <abri1973 at wp.pl> on 2009.11.17 at 19:43:59(20321)
Hi Steve,

The Alocasia cultivar is named 'Polly' not 'Poly', with this name I saw it for the first time about 2000

and it seems to be correct, though there's neither 'Poly' not 'Polly' in the IAS cultivar database.

I know a page created by an unknown person with a photo "borrowed" from my site,

He wrote that the cultivar 'Polly' was selected by Denis Rotolante in 1993.

http://blogginghouseplants.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html

A big "?"

Marek

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From: "Tom Croat" <Thomas.Croat at mobot.org> on 2009.11.17 at 21:34:21(20323)
Steve: Certainly that is curious but remember if it is publshed by someone they could simply have given him credit for the name, such as I will be doing for Philodendron fibrosm Sodiro. Hoewver even when I do this it will be called Sodiro ex Croat.

Tom

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From: bonaventure at optonline.net on 2009.11.23 at 16:00:21(20359)
Is that 'Lowii' named for the Lowe's big-box stores?

Bonaventure

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From: Peter Boyce <phymatarum at googlemail.com> on 2009.11.23 at 23:26:05(20361)
Either for Hugh Low, born Clapton, London, 1824. Travelled to Sarawak and was secretary to James Brook, the first White Rajah of Sarawak or for his father, who together with Hugh's brother Henry Stewart, owned the famous Low and Co. nursery in Clapton.

On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 8:00 AM, wrote:

Is that 'Lowii' named for the Lowe's big-box stores?

Bonaventure

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From: "John Criswick" <criswick at spiceisle.com> on 2009.11.24 at 06:53:59(20363)
I guess this nurserythen moved to Harrow in north-west London, as I used to buy palms from StuartLow Nursery there when I was a boy. John.

From:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com] On Behalf Of Peter Boyce
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 20093:26 AM
To: Discussion of aroids
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] AlocasiaAmazonica and Alocasia x Amazonica

Either for Hugh Low, born Clapton, London, 1824. Travelled to Sarawakand was secretary to James Brook, the first White Rajah of Sarawak or for hisfather, who together with Hugh's brother Henry Stewart, owned the famous Lowand Co. nursery in Clapton.

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From: bonaventure at optonline.net on 2009.11.25 at 18:05:57(20367)
I know. Just a joke like the several unidentifiable Phalaenopsis homedepotensis I grow.

Bonaventure

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From: Peter Boyce <phymatarum at googlemail.com> on 2009.11.25 at 21:44:07(20369)
Great uncle I believe.

On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 10:53 PM, John Criswick wrote:

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