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  Re: Philodendron selloum
From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2001.12.13 at 15:46:12(7906)
To add to Neil's comments below and Julius' earlier about older collections
of this species in Florida, some older FL hort books and trade publications
listed both P. selloum and P. bipinnatifidum as distinct species. About 20-30
years ago in the FL nursery trade sometimes the names were used almost in a
varietal or even cultivar sense. During those years in the hort trade, the P.
bipinnatifidum "form" was considered superior and more sought after. I seem
to recall from my retail nursery days in the early-mid 1980s that any plant
labeled with the name P. bipinnatifidum sold for a higher price than those
labeled as P. selloum. Probably some unscrupulous nursery owners capitalized
on this and labeled all their seedling plants with this name to garner a few
more dollars, other growers actually produced cuttings taken from some select
forms and gave them the P. bipinnatifidum name to distinguish them. The
latter were far less common in cultivation and quite rightly fetched the
highest price. Occasionally some newspaper or magazine article would
elaborate on these plants and discuss the various points of difference
between the two "forms" in cultivation. Afterwards customers would come in
asking for P. bipinnatifidum and would turn up their noses at any plant
labeled with the P. selloum name as a "common" seedling of unknown parentage,
and less desirable, thus we always tried to keep a small supply of plants,
acquired from trusted wholesale sources as cutting-grown P. bipinnatifidum,
for our more "discriminating" buyers! In the back nursery area we kept some
stock plants of a few superior P. bipinnatifidum forms to propagate for
special customers, because we could not always find a wholesale source for
the "true" P. bipinnatifidum grown only from cuttings. Later, this P.
bipinnatifidum name became lost in the trade and all you could find were the
uniform plants labeled as P. selloum. I guess it simply became uneconomical
for wholesale growers to produce cuttings of those special forms, so one
could no longer find all the variations of this species in nurseries.

Donna Atwood

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