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  Re: Homalomena/Dieffenbachia.
From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2002.07.20 at 20:44:21(9122)
Dear Aroiders,

Just a note. Some years (1984) ago Josef Bogner & Mark Moffler described
Homalomena speariae (Aroideana 7(2): 37. 1984.), a huge "Dieffenbachia-like"
Homalomena. Another "common" Homalomena, H. wallisii, that is also
Dieffenbachia-like, but a little smaller. Homalomena wallisii is quite
widespread in cultivation, and H. speariae was in cultivation in the past.
Maybe someone saw one of these plants and said it was an hybrid, so the
legend begins. Dieffenbachia has an unusuall chromosome number (34 or
polyploid series of it) and it must be somewhat hard to cross with other
aroid genera (except the other Spathicarpoids that are closer relatives).
My advice is: check those both species before believe that there is an
intergeneric hybrid. They really LOOK like Dieffenbachia, but they are not
even so closely related (Homalomenas are closer to Philodendron, as far as I
know). Dieffenbachia-like species are known in Neotropical Homalomena. The
real and interesting question is: Are Neotropical Homalomena and
Paleotropical Homalomena really the same genus? (someone from the molecular
side of the life to answer this?) Well, I have the same question for
Schismatoglottis (I have to confess that in both genera I do not believe
they are, but I have no consistent argument)... Well, but this is another
discussion...

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