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  Re: Taccarum
From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 1998.09.20 at 18:34:19(2615)
Hello again, my Friends,
I am going to do an "update" to the note below. The writing of the note
(below) made me go out to admire my plant, and I found that the leaf had
started to wither, a sign that it was going dormant. I brought the pot into
my garage to dry out, and called my friend to report the impending dormancy.
He said that his plants were still "up", and this alerted me to possible
problems with the tuber, so I went out and turned the tuber out of the pot,
rinsed the soil off to examine it, and it is a good thing that I did so, as
I discovered several small areas of rot on the otherwise healthy tuber, one
of which was near the base of where the leaf had been, and this had affected
the leaf, causing a prematume/false early dormancy. This may have been
caused by the long period of unseasonably dry weather, followed by very wet
weather (storm Hermine in the gulf of Mexico). The tuber was about 5" in
dia., wrinkled on the bottom (perhaps as it was not fully mature as yet) and
a nice flesh pink, not jade green as it will turn after a while in a paper
bag left on a shelf in my garage. The remains of the old tuber were
adhering to its bottom, and were moist, like old thick wet paper, but peeled
off easily, exposing several small areas of rot. Using the point of a dull
knife, I dug/scraped out all of the areas of rot (about 5, which were brown
and cracked at the surface) down to healthy tissue, and treated the wounds
with "Captan", a fungicide. I will put it into a paper bag with a dusting
of "Ban Rot" once it has dried off a bit.
An interesting note is that while digging out the rotten areas, a tiny piece
of the very moist plant tissue flew up and into my left eye, and there was
immeadiate discomfort, and even though I washed the eye out throughly and
applied drops, it itched like hell for about 1/2 hour, and still does not
feel "right". So here is another Aroid that itches.
I will keep us informed as to the tubers progress during the comming months.
There were no small offset tubers produced, but many growing points are
around the upper surface of the tuber, and the largest has formed a "bulge"
out at one side. Seeing how this species' tuber develops and changes during
its dormancy, (see below) I would not be surprised if this "bulge"
eventually detaches itself from the main tuber by next spring. I am also
informed that you can cut the tubers into pieces, and they will heal, and a
new plant will grow from each piece. I am not ready this point to try this
with my one tuber!
I believe that this species requires a very well drained mix, and to be
gradually dried off in fall. It seems to be VERY sensitive to excessive
moisture at maturity, and will rot easily., and needs to be kept out of its
pot, dry and warm, during dormancy.
To all growers out there, I`d love to aquire other species of this genus,
and any others in this group, such as Gorgonidium, Asterostigma, Mangonia,
etc. I have two species (?) of Spathicarpa, sagittifolia and hastifolia,
and they did VERY well this summer, and are now starting to go dormant. In
previous years thay seemed to be "mixed up" as to the seasons, and would
grow in winter, then want to go dormant in spring. They seem to have
finally got it right!
Cheers,
Julius
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