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  Re: Let me introduce myself
From: "Robert Wagner" <robwagner at robwagner.seanet.com> on 1997.07.18 at 19:30:43(965)
Hello, Gabe! Welcome to the list. It's been quiet lately, but it's a
friendly list. Most of the members seem to be amateurs, but there are a few
botanists lurking so watch your taxonomy!

I'm sorry that I know almost nothing about Alocasias, except that they look
handsome in the gardens of my southern correspondents. They are not
uncommon as garden plants in and around New Orleans. As houseplants they
would be practically impossible for me.

I do grow a lot of subtropical plants outdoors. I haven't been cocky enough
to try Alocasia macrorhiza but I can tell you that Colocasias are actually
root hardy up here in Seattle (with excellent drainage), tho not really
practical since they need more heat to thrive than we can give them. A
possible exception may be C. antiquorum 'Illustris', which seems to be
thriving in my garden. It arrived as a small plant with just a leaf or 2
last year, and this year it already looks fairly impressive. With your
slightly hotter summers and brighter sunshine they would probably grow
better for you than for me.

Not an aroid, but a very tropical-looking plant that is completely
root-hardy here is Musa basjoo, the Japanese Textile Banana. Many Gingers
are hardy up here (strangely, including some quite tropical ones from
places like Indonesia and Thailand) and some of the big Himalayan
Hedychiums look impossibly tropical with their big strappy leaves,
cane-like stems, and orchid-like blossoms.

Just in case you wanted something that would look good next to the Taro.

Maybe one of the southern contingency can answer your Alocasia questions.

Robert

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