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  gigantic leaf species around the wor
From: Bob Riffle <71270.3070 at compuserve.com> on 1998.08.13 at 14:45:57(2528)
Julius, there are actually TWO photos in Fairchild's GARDEN ISLANDS OF THE
GREAT EAST of Cyrtosperma merkusii (I have the book): one taken on a
beach in Luzon showing Prof. Hugh Curran holding an 18-ft. leaf-petiole
cut from the forest; the other photo taken in the forest itself showing
Ned Beckwith standing amidst a grove of them. The leaf itself (the
lamina) seems no larger than those on a mature Alocasia odora, nor
any larger than those in the photo of A. odora var. robusta in EXOTICA
which shows Roberto Burle Marx standing beneath the "canopy" of the
plant. The leaf of Philodendron speciosum would seem to be AT LEAST
as large and probably larger, and it's unsegmented. I have grown
Xanthosoma violaceum and X. sagittifolium with leaves almost 6-feet
long. In addition, in the BBS production of David Attenborough's
"The Secret Life of Plants" there's a scene with the great popularizer
himself standing within a clump of what he calls "the giant arum" of
Borneo or Sumatra or wherever he is--the leaves of this plant, if
memory serves, seem larger than any of the above. I have it on tape
and could find the part if anyone is interested; alas, he gives no
binomial or even genus name ..... wonder if he's online?

Robert Lee Riffle, author of THE TROPICAL LOOK

From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 1998.08.13 at 17:28:40(2529)
>>Julius, there are actually TWO photos in Fairchild's GARDEN ISLANDS OF THE
GREAT EAST of Cyrtosperma merkusii (I have the book): one taken on a
beach in Luzon showing Prof. Hugh Curran holding an 18-ft. leaf-petiole
cut from the forest; the other photo taken in the forest itself showing
Ned Beckwith standing amidst a grove of them. The leaf itself (the
lamina) seems no larger than those on a mature Alocasia odora, nor
any larger than those in the photo of A. odora var. robusta in EXOTICA
which shows Roberto Burle Marx standing beneath the "canopy" of the
plant. The leaf of Philodendron speciosum would seem to be AT LEAST
as large and probably larger, and it's unsegmented. I have grown
Xanthosoma violaceum and X. sagittifolium with leaves almost 6-feet
long. In addition, in the BBS production of David Attenborough's
"The Secret Life of Plants" there's a scene with the great popularizer
himself standing within a clump of what he calls "the giant arum" of
Borneo or Sumatra or wherever he is--the leaves of this plant, if
memory serves, seem larger than any of the above. I have it on tape
and could find the part if anyone is interested; alas, he gives no
binomial or even genus name ..... wonder if he's online?

+More
From: Bob Riffle <71270.3070 at compuserve.com> on 1998.08.13 at 20:16:03(2531)
Dr. Hay, is "Alocasia robusta" synonymous with "Alocasia odora var.
robusta"? The leaves in the Attenborough film are not 15 feet long
but they are bigger than any A. macrorrhiza or A. odora that I've
ever seen, so that I don't doubt you and suspect D.A. to have been
amongst juvenile A. robusta plants .

As for the palm leaves, yes, Raphia regalis has the biggest leaves
of any land plant (I believe the Pac coast giant kelp leaves--
aquatics--are longer: up to 100 feet or more), but Raphia leaves
are clearly divided from the time of their emergence from the
trunk; they only lack "unfurling." There are a few pinnate-leaved
palms whose segments never separate after emerging--Pelagodoxa and
Phoenicophorium are the prime examples of these genera and have the
biggest undividedleaves, while species of Chamaedorea represent the
smaller undivided pinnate leaves.

The bananas, YES! I've never seen the ones with the biggest leaves
(not even photos), but it would be my somewhat educated guess that
they qualify for the biggest *undivided* leaves of any land plant.
Any suggestions for books/URLs that might contain these photos?

Long live monocots!

+More
From: Bob Riffle <71270.3070 at compuserve.com> on 1998.08.13 at 20:20:42(2532)
Julius, no. The shot of D. Attenborough with "giant arum" is
definitely NOT that of an Amorphophallus. He *does* go to Sumatra
in the docu and waits for a day or two while Amorphophallus titanum
opens and he may have, indeed, referred to it as a "giant arum,"
but he also gives its correct binomial. The sequence I was referring
to shows something more akin to an Alocasia or Xanthosoma.

rlr

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