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  [Aroid-l] Aroids in Art
From: Deni at yaxhampark.co.uk (Deni Bown) on 2007.11.27 at 18:22:33(16751)
Dear Jason,

Julius is right that Deni Bown is thanking you for sharing the
delightful illustration of 'lords & ladies', and here she is doing it in
person! Many thanks indeed!

The accompanying discussion took me back to my earliest aroid days when
in my frantic search to find anything written on the family, I came
across Cecil Prime's "Lords and Ladies". This wonderful book was first
published in 1960 as a special volume in the New Naturalist series. It
was out of print when I first started ferreting out information on
aroids for my own book, but with perfect timing Dr Prime's widow,
Frances, had it reprinted in 1981 and I obtained a copy from her. The
second chapter is devoted to the numerous names for this intriguing
plant and is well worth reading. Have a read too of the final paragraph
of this very special book, which so well combines scientific monograph
with imagination and humour. I quote Dr Prime:

"May I end with a picture of an Aroid which despite all the
multitudinous variations of the family, nature has not yet evolved? It
is Armchairia Comfortabilis, and it was figured by Edward Lear in his
Laughable Lyrics (1877). It has an obvious and well developed spathe,
and an extremely complicated spadix which consists of a hollowed
receptacle above, lined with tri-radiate markings and bearing in front a
conspicuously serrate margin."

Hopefully there is someone out there who has the technological know-how,
and access to a copy of Dr Prime's book or The Complete Nonsense of
Edward Lear, who could put this drawing of an armchair arum in a
Photobucket to delight us all further?

Thanks again Jason,


Deni Bown

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