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  Re: Amorpho titanum crosses!!!
From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2001.06.21 at 20:10:41(6802)

I am sure the Sri Lankan greengrocers in Tooting must think I obtain some
strange illicit drugs from the amorph tubers, or that I eat vast quantities
of the curries in which they put them! They have probably sold more in the
last month or two than the previous year (two other growers have now asked me
to get them some too...).

I agree with most of the comments on hybrids given here, the majority do not
improve on nature, although I suspect most of us are only too happy to grow
various hybrid garden plants without giving it a second thought. It is a
fairly natural thing for man to pick the biggest, the darkest, the largest,
the best scented flowers etc etc and its only a short step from there to
selectively crossing. I think the orchid people have it right, at least they
register everything and one can look up parentage very easily. All these
cultivar names which mean nothing (what IS Anthurium Jungle King?!, or
Spathiphyllum Sensation?!) because they wont tell you or dont know the
parentage are not helping anyone. Yes, we absolutely must conserve and
disseminate species as much as possible to ensure their survival in
collections (is it too pessimistic to feel that their habitats just will not
survive?) and for future generations to admire their stunning beauty. I am
not against hybrids per se as long as the species are cared for, and the
hybrids well documented. A giant konjac-titanum in the backyard may be
unlikely but it would certainly get noticed.....

Just wait till they use gene surgery to join a Spathiphyllum with
Amorphophallus, Spathiphyllum "Dracula's Delight" anyone...?

Geoffrey Kibby

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