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  Re: [Aroid-l] Natural Hybrid/ Alocasia cucullata (Lour) G. Don
From: "Alistair Hay" <ajmhay at hotmail.com> on 2007.04.03 at 01:36:23(15543)
I agree with Peter on this though I don't see much sign of A. macrorrhizos in A. cucullata: it is very likely close to odora and possibly a cultigen and sport from it.
I have seen what seemed to be an intermediate clone (between odora and cucullata) in a taro germ plasm collection in Hanoi which was rather similar to the plant under discussion here.

What interests me most is that A. cucullata is itself (together with A. macrorrhizos) something of an enigma. It is not known in the wild and throughout its 'natural' range is only ever found in association with human disturbance. Those of you familiar with Thailand and Indo-China will have seen it most often planted in the compounds of Buddhist temples where it is favoured as 'lucky' or, if you ask older monks and nuns, because it is believed to protect the temple from evil spirits and well as bad luck. In Lao I have seen it planted for the same purpose around the communal rice stores in villages of several of the hill tribe peoples.

My point here is that in all probability A. cucullata is a stabilized culton of perhaps A. odora (which is indigenous and widespread throughout the 'range' of A. cucullata) maintained for the most part by human intervention, or maybe a hybrid of A. odora and/or A. macrorrhizos. There is a possibility that what we are witnessing is a 'reversion' to the progenitor or one of the progeniting parents. However, I hasten to add that I am no geneticist and that is this all, perhaps fanciful, speculation.


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