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  Lesser amorphophalli, corms vs. tubers, etc.
From: Steve Marak <samarak at arachne.uark.edu> on 1998.07.08 at 15:53:16(2438)
This is another shotgun note, covering several topics I saw go by but
didn't respond to at the time (probably while I was traveling).

Re Amorph. konjac ... Dewey, you mentioned Fanny Phillips in one of your
notes. Does she still grow the "giant" and "dwarf" forms of konjac that
she had, and have these proven consistent in their growth and flowering?
I've always been curious as to whether these were genetic or
environmental, since aroids seem willing to flower small when happy.

(My konjacs, which are grown outdoors year-round, did something unusual
this year - set seed. I've never had this happen before and had assumed
they were self-sterile, but perhaps I never had multiple inflorescences
opening at just the right times.)

Dewey, is your marvelous parvulus the same one I am growing, i.e. the one
that is something else very similar, or a true parvulus? On returning
home, I noticed that my plant, apparently in envy of yours, has now
started several more petioles. The effect of about 5 petioles with that
remarkable coloration is very beautiful.

What can you Amorph. experts tell me about "Leo Song #1" and "Leo Song
#2"? I was given these during my travels, and know nothing about them
except that LS #2 may be a white-stemmed konjac. Will someone enlighten
me, please?

Wilbert, I read with interest your notes on why amorphophallus abuse
(crowding) tends to result in new tubers, and also on tubers versus corms.
However, I noticed - cautious and cagey soul that you are - that you
stopped short of saying that you found no valid scientific distinction
between tuber and corm, though you implied it rather strongly. Do you feel
that there is no distinction, and that - given our imprecise English
language, of course - "gladiolus tuber" is as valid as "Amorphophallus
corm", or is there some usefulness in keeping both terms around? How about
the other aroid genera - Dracunculus, Arisaema, Pinellia, Arum, Typhonium?
Corms, tubers, or does it matter?

Scott, re Alocasia 'Black Velvet', I hope you and Dr. Hay will keep us
informed if a name is able to be put to it. It's one of the most beautiful
around, in a genus which has more than its fair share of beautiful
species. It seems to have caught on quickly in the trade, too - I see it
turning up in commercial plantings now. No question about the benefits of
micropropagation with this one - no other way could it now be in the hands
of so many people. Thanks again for your distribution of it a couple of
years ago.

We did see some aroids while traveling, mostly tropicals (some very large
and impressive Anthurium and Philodendron specimens in particular). Few
hardy species, though while hiking in a state park in Ohio I did come
across the largest Arisaema triphyllum leaf I have ever seen in the wild
(Roy Herold's "giant" clone still has it beat, but not by much). The
largest trillium leaf I have ever seen, too - must be the soil there.


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