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  Re: Not-so-Simple Peace Lilies
From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2001.06.14 at 09:22:28(6740)
Dear Donna,

Thank you so very much. Helen Kennedy, bless her, told me about pollination
by the Euglossine Bees, I DO find fragrances of various Spathiphyllum
species vary significantly.

It would be good to have a photostat or buy a copy of the paper or could you
scan/email?

I am especially interested in why there has been such presumably adaptive
radiation of NW species, whereas there are few but apparently very
differently adapted OW species. Maybe this obvious tepal thing is a blind
alley and the true way leads somehere else! ('Sorry for the obtuse pun).
It seems strange to me that with such world wide distribution there can be
so few species. Maybe it is because they all look like, well,
Spathiphyllum. Is this because we are not euglossine and do not target
features which separates one kind from another within a species or section.
How can there be just two or three Asian spp and if so why? WHY only white
or green Spaths? Do the greens in particular have different fragrances for
different bees or are bees interested at all? And why the either reflexed
or hooded spathes? Because I always seem to be in a flight path towards
Spathiphyllum was I re-incarnated from an educationally subnormal
e-bee?!!!!. It might explain my strange need to seek incessantly for
another "different" Peace Lily!!!. I have a very strong predeliction for
very dark green forms with most shy corrugated leaves with toothed margins
No matter how large & attractive the spathe matt leaves are just not, well,
"right"...

But maybe other people might agree that the shinies are the "best"? The
great variation in morphology of the genus is also most interesting. Plant
size (10cms to 4m), root structure vs wetness of habitat, leaf form and
structure including shininess, thickness, bilateral symmetry etc etc, spathe
open-ness and size. Also the relationship between light preferences and
tolerances (deepest shade10 to fill sun,10,000 fcs) of various forms. So
maybe questions can be answered only by LIVING with them closely, time to
watch & wonder freely but cautiously. Euglossines maybe know a lot we don't
about, (as you write), "Not so Simple Peace Lilies". I feel that
hybridisation and tissue culture, particularly involving widely different &
geographical spp needs to be very careful. Horticulture can mangle millions
of years of evolution in seconds what Botanic Gardens & Collections try to
keep intact. After fifty or more years haphazard hybridisation (and the
genus hybridises very easily) collecting all the cultivars as well I may be
laying down a minefield. It is SO important to know the origin of
definitive "species" and anything else needs numbering with their "names".
This started off as a supplementary botanical labour of love, now major
issues are arising because of you IAS catalysts, Thank goodness I chose a
small(?), simple(?) genus. I forgot that often infinite complexity just
seems elegantly simple. WotavIstarted again? Anyway, thanks to so many
people there should be a meaningful assembly of species and cultivars
growing here by Fall. As it develops I will send photo scans & reports to
IAS.

Once again, thank you!

Ron

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