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  Re: [Aroid-l] Re: Asian epiphytes...
From: "Alistair Hay" <ajmhay at hotmail.com> on 2007.02.23 at 00:33:14(15327)
Thanks Peter! (out of my tree indeed!!!) LOL.
No epiphytic Homalomenas that I know of in NG, though one or two rheophytes. The ones with weirder habits/habitats are mainly Bornean as I recall. Several (especially allied to H. humilis/pygmaea) are epilithic or lithophytic (depending whether you say potato or tomato!).
I remember seeing H. cf hostifolia in Sarawak growing as a sort of trapeze artist on unstable streambanks: as the plant is undercut it falls and dangles by a root or two and sends out more aerial roots across to the vertical subtrate and hauls itself up again. [Peter this is from 12 yo memory! I may have the name completely wrong]. The elongate stems are twisted back and forth and around as they have repeatedly done this manoeuvre! I admired its athleticism.
H. expedita(Sarawak) is a stoloniferous colony-forming swamp plant (fresh and brackish) growing in full sun.
Peter, being in the thick of it, by now knows far far more than I do about thise things in Borneo!!
H. belula (Java), H. hastata and H elegantula (both Sumatera) stand out in the genus in having the habit of gingers and those Schismatoglottis allied to S. calyptratra: that is the shoot flowers terminally and subsequently dies, with the plant continuing by the release of one or more lateral shoots from near the base of the previous one - unlike many/most aroids where continuation of a shoot takes place by growth from immediately below the inflorescence.

Dear Michael

No Homalomena, as far as I am aware, are obligate epiphytes. Having said that I have seen Homalomena griffithii growing epiphytically c. 3 m up the trunk of a large belian in riverine gallery forest in NC Sarawak; clearly the seed had lodged there either during floors or had passed through the dispersal agent. Homalomena fruits are inconspicuous but often strongly fruity-smelling and tasting and I suspect are mammal dispersed although I have no direct evidence to support this.

Alistair did a lot of work on the Homalomena of New Guinea and Bismarck and may well have further anecdotes of epiphytism. Interesting, some New Guinea Homalomena contain psychoactive principles thus it is possible for the observer to be out of their tree....

Very best wishes


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