IAS Aroid Quasi Forum

About Aroid-L
 This is a continuously updated archive of the Aroid-L mailing list in a forum format - not an actual Forum. If you want to post, you will still need to register for the Aroid-L mailing list and send your postings by e-mail for moderation in the normal way.

  [Aroid-l] Re: Colocasia mess
From: Peter Matthews pjm at gol.com> on 2006.09.08 at 02:03:15(14574)
Dear Various,

In the early 1980s I had the opportunity to look through European
herbarium collections of Colocasia species.

The most often collected and clearly distinct species were Colocasia
esculenta (very widespread in the wild and in cultivation), C. fallax
Schott (Engler & Krause 1920) (central Himalaya), C. affinis Schott
(Engler & Krause 1920) (eastern Himalaya to Thailand) and C. gigantea
Hook f. (Hotta 1970) (E and SE Asia).

All four of these species are used as ornamentals and are now quite
widepsread outside their natural or pre-modern historical range.

Other rarely collected species of Colocasia are less well-known
taxonomically, their geographical ranges cannot be ascertained from
one or just a few collection records each. These species are less
likely to be found in trade (C. gracilis, C. mannii, C. virosa, and
others that have been reported in recent years).

C. affinis a tender, cold-sensitive species with stolons (a tropical
lowland species, or lowland and low hills).

C. fallax is a tough, cold tolerant species with stolons (i.e it
seems to be atropical mountain species).

C. gigantea ranges in cultivation from tropics to warm temperate
areas, and will regrow after frost or snow damage (in Japan).

C. esculenta ranges in cultivation from tropics to cool temperate
areas, and will regrow after frost or snow damage (to 41 degrees N.in
Japan). Wild forms in the lowland tropics and subtropics are all
stoloniferous and show considerable phenotypic diversity in mainland
SE Asia - in coloration, spathe morphology etc.).

Wild forms at higher altitudes (above 1000 m) in the tropics are not
well known but do exist, and some bear cormels rather than stolons.

The historically recognised varieties (e.g.C. e. var. aquatilis and
var. antiquorum) may simply represent fragments from a continuous
range of morphological variation among wild forms in diverse habitats
over a huge geographical range in Asia and the western Pacific.

It is difficult for anyone to actually cover all the ground that
needs to be covered, to comprehend variation in very widespread
species. Give us another hundred years or so (or 100 students and
funds for 1 year).

Thanks, Peter


Note: this is a very old post, so no reply function is available.