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  Info on Epipremnum spp.
From: "Peter Boyce" boyce at pothos.demon.co.uk> on 2001.06.20 at 19:51:40(6772)

Then it is still only a rumor as
far as you know? I mean, if aureum is a cultivar of E.
pinnatum, then it's the same plant basically? Not quite that straightforward (is
it ever!). For a long time the status of E. aureum was problematic. It was
eventually laid to rest by being made a cv. of the widespread and highly
polymorphic E. pinnatum. This is the stance (with the caveats that you have now
read) I took when I published my account of Epipremnum in West and Central
Malesia a few years back. However, since then I have been working on Epipremnum
in East Malesia and the Pacific. There is a plant, E. mooreense, describe from
the Pacific that was long considered to be a distinct species. During a visit to
Paris Herbarium late in 1998 I came across the type specimen on E. mooreense
(collected from a remote island mountain, not in a cultivated place) and lo and
behold, it is identical with the thing we call cv. Aureum. In my opinion E.
mooreense is the same species as E. aureum and is DIFFERENT from E. pinnatum on
the characters I outline in my paper. The earliest name for the species is E.

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2001.06.21 at 16:00:32(6781)
-----Original Message-----From:
Peter Boyce To:
Multiple recipients of list AROID-L Date:
Wednesday, June 20, 2001 3:57 PMSubject: Re: Info on
Epipremnum spp.
Dear Pete,

An amazing stroke of 'luck', the kind of story
I enjoy! Are the leaves of E. mooreenense 'variegated' as is E.
aurium, or do the specimens of each plant just match exactly in

I`m still looking for fertile material of E.
aurium here in Florida for you, but as of yet have not been lucky enough to
be present when someone fells a huge pine tree covered with the
stuff! 'Way up there' one can sometimes see what look to
be a bloom or two on 'leads' that come away from the main growth and hang
pendant, but they are way too high to collect without cutting down the
entire pine tree!

I`d love a copy of both your old and new
papers if/when they become available.



From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2001.06.21 at 16:03:22(6792)
And now some hardcore cultonomy to try and solve this problem:

In order to maintain the well-known cultivarname Epipremnum 'Aureum'
(whether this belongs to E. pinnatum or not is actually not essential in the
nomenclature of cultivars!!!), we could urge Peter to conserve the name E.
mooreense against E. aureum, so that the cultivar name 'Aureum' may keep on
keeping its well-known status. Howse zat for a practical solution?

Another "solution" would be to have the species E. aurem AND a cultivar
'Aureum' of that same species..... Somehow that doesn't sound ideal.

Wilbert (sticking his nose in climbing aroids for the first

From: "Peter Boyce" boyce at pothos.demon.co.uk> on 2001.06.21 at 20:10:07(6801)

Suits me admirably. I am certainly not happy with the having to call the
species in Moorea E. aureum since the type of E. mooreense is the 'green
form' of cv. Aureum.


From: "Peter Boyce" boyce at pothos.demon.co.uk> on 2001.06.21 at 20:10:57(6803)
Hi Julius

Thanks for continuing to look for flowering 'E.
aureum' - much appreciated. For those who only know 'E. aureum' as a small
creeper, the adult plant can climb to over 20 m and has leaves up to 1 m long on
leaf stalks another 1 m long. It is a BIG plant.

The type specimen of E. mooreense is not
variegated. When I said in my earlier email that it is identical with E. aureum
I meant in leaf shape and lack of lots of divisions.

Epipremnum paper. I will happily send you a copy
of the the East Malesian and Pacific account when it's published. I will also
check to see if I have any off-prints of the West & Central Malesian paper
left. If so, I'll mail you one. If not, I'll get a photocopy made and mail

From: magrysbo at shu.edu on 2001.06.22 at 05:24:31(6827)
dun-DUN-Dun-dun dun-DUN-Dun-dun (the theme from "Jaws") - MAYBE ITS A

"Wilbert Hetterscheid" @mobot.org on 06/21/2001

From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2001.06.22 at 16:04:03(6834)

hey, when you use "Willie" on me, you shouldn't do that in public. Who knows
what people might think....... :-)

Anyway, it would be a challenge to try and get a species name conserved for
reasons of one of its cultivars otherwise getting a confused name.


From: Denis denis at skg.com> on 2001.07.03 at 05:50:31(6948)

I wholeheartedly agree with the need for exact taxanomic nomenclature in
the case of Epipremnum mooreense'Aureum'(or is it E. aureum 'Aureum').
My problem is that as a Wholesale producer of tropical foliage plants I
can not always fit the whole correct name into the slot provided in my
computerized inventory software and in the the foliage business Aureum
isn't the whole name. 99% of the people in my business know Epipremnum
aureum by the goofy common name of "Golden Pothos" and there are three
recognized cultivars, 'Golden" with golden yellow variation on a green
leaf, 'Marble Queen' with white variegation on dark green leaf and
'Jade' with just a dark green leaf. Now there is a new cultivated form,
an improved form of the golden called 'Hawaiian' which has thicker
substance to the leaf and better color. Does it really matter whether I
refer to it as Epipremnum aureum or Epipremnum mooreense 'Aureum' or
just Marble Queen, Jade or Golden Pothos except when I am talking to a
Taxonomist such as yourself, Peter or Simon who get all upset when I
call it a "Pothos". As it is I have to post it on my price list as
"Pothos" because my customers couldn't find it on my price list in
alphabetical order as Epipremnum aureum. They would look in the
greenhouse and ask why they could not find a price for it on the
listing. So a practical solution for you, Wilbert the taxonomist, is
different from practical solution for me the horticulturist.

Denis at Silver Krome Gardens

From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2001.07.04 at 05:57:30(6951)

So here we are on the borderline between doing it right and doing it the
practical way. First off, I would agree with anyone who would oppose the use
of "pothos" for this material. Here I am a hardliner. I think it is HIGH
time that "nursery"-names of more than 2 centuries old, should be eradicated
(what about Arum cornutum for Typh. venosum etc.). The term Golden Pothos is
even worse, since there is a cultivar of E. moorense named 'Golden Pothos'
and the fools of the Dutch Plant Breeder's Right Bureau have accepted that
name and registered it legally. It is an all-yellow form selected from
'Aureum', but the name 'Golden Pothos' thus has gotten a new status in UPOV
countries......(I suppose this is something you DIDN'T want to know.......).

Now to writing a proper cultivar name. There is no way to escape from using
a binomial. Thus the name of cultivar 'Aureum' and all cultivars of
Epipremnum must at LEAST be tagged Epipremnum 'cultivar name'. The species
"name" is less relevant in correct use because by default a cultivar name
may not exist twice in one and the same genus, irrespective under what
species of that genus the names may have been established. I suppose a
binomial on a tag would be surmountable, right (unless you cultivate palms
like Johannesteysmannia..............). There is allowance however for using
the common name instead of the genus name or crop name and then add the
cultivar. Thus one might say Sunflower 'Dark Medal' instead of Helianthus
(annuus) 'Dark Medal'. But then we run into the problem, that the "common
name" for Epipremnum would seem to be Pothos, and that is hardly acceptable.
I must confess though that by now the common name Calla(-lily) for
Zantedeschia has been firmly established as well and that is not a pretty
one either.

I am sure this does not solve all of your problems, like the use of the term
"pothos" as a sort of common name denoting all Epipremnums. But then this:
what do you call Epipremnum-like plants like true Rhaphidophora and like? I
guess you may have to start teaching your customers some basic use of
correct names, step by step..... Look e.g. at a catalogue like that of our
esteemed Aroid-l member Tony Avent. THERE's a catalogue you may want to
learn from.


From: StellrJ at aol.com on 2001.07.04 at 05:59:15(6953)
In a message dated Tue, 3 Jul 2001 1:50:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time, Denis writes:

<< 99% of the people in my business know Epipremnum
aureum by the goofy common name of "Golden Pothos" and there are three
recognized cultivars, 'Golden" with golden yellow variation on a green
leaf, 'Marble Queen' with white variegation on dark green leaf and

From: "Derek Burch" derek at horticulturist.com> on 2001.07.05 at 05:05:27(6958)
As a rather prosaic sidelight on the epipremnums: I have always felt that
the leaves of Marble Queen and Jade (and these two do revert and switch
backwards and forwards with one another but never to the yellow variegation)
are quite different from those of the golden form. Pete have you seen
flowers of each form to know that they are conspecific?
I never see these two getting to a great height in trees in the South
Florida area to have a hope of finding flowering material. I have brought
the yellow variegated form into flower with GA, but not the other two ( a
very distorted flowering, by the way) - Derek Burch

From: "Peter Boyce" p.boyce at rbgkew.org.uk> on 2001.07.05 at 15:44:44(6959)
Hi Derek

No, I've never seen them flowering (indeed, have never even seen
adult plants of them). Do you have access to adult plants? If yes,
then a fully mature leaf of each, pressed and dried, would be very
welcome here at Kew to compare with similar leaves of E.
mooreense and E. mooreense 'Aureum'


From: Denis denis at skg.com> on 2001.07.06 at 04:49:48(6962)

Culturally the Marble Queen and Jade are distinctly differtent from the
Golden form and do not tolerate as much light as the latter. It may be
as simple as a single yellow leaf pigment missing from the Jade and
Marble Queen forms. I think all of them would have same mature size leaf
if given proper light and fertilizer. The magnesium requirement is
higher on the Jade form. A trait I always attributed this to the higher
volume of green pigment per leaf in Jade as opposed to the variegated
area totally lacking pigment or containing just yellow pigment in the
variegated forms.

From: StellrJ at aol.com on 2001.07.06 at 05:21:56(6964)
In a message dated Thu, 5 Jul 2001 1:05:47 AM Eastern Daylight Time, "Derek Burch" writes:

<< the leaves of Marble Queen and Jade (and these two do revert and switch
backwards and forwards with one another but never to the yellow variegation)

The yellow form will revert to all-green, and back. I always believed this had to do with the amount of light the plant was recieving: it tends to revert to green in dim conditions, and back to yellow-variegated in bright conditions (each leaf is set -- an all-green leaf will stay green, a variegated leaf stay variegated, even when the light conditions change; it is on NEW growth that reversion occurs). I have observed the same thing in a different plant family: the variegated cvv. of Tradescantia/Zebrina.

Jason Hernandez

From: Betsy Feuerstein ecuador at midsouth.rr.com> on 2001.07.06 at 15:25:55(6966)
I hate to be a pain but who said there was ever anything 'wrong' with doing the
practical over what you consider the 'right way, other than you and other
botanists who feel that your way is the only correct way. Perhaps in botanics,
that is to be accepted. That does not mean that the rest of the world has to
live in your world. Just perhaps, an element of practicality would do botanics a
great step forward into meeting the big world of the general population, instead
of botanists expecting the big world of the general population coming to meet
them. In the practical sense, the odds of pothos becoming Epipremnum, or calla
becoming Zantedeschia, etc., are minuscule. If you desire to continue to beat
your heads against a non moving stone wall, you will get nowhere, just has
happened in the past. Pothos is pothos, and calla is calla and by all odds, will
continue to be known just as is for some time to come, like for generations to
come. To see the reverse and stability to such common names, botanists are
forever changing commonly accepted botanically correct names, at least in form,
to something else leaving even greater confusion to the masses. Just perhaps,
botanics are not necessarily meant for the masses. They certainly serve their
purpose in an effort to create clarity from confusion, but even in botanics
there is great confusion, so just for now, maybe it might be wise to just
consider common names as such and botanical names as such and move forward the
best we can in such duality rather than trying to force a 'right' way to call
some plant. We tried that with metric and so far, it has abysmally failed in the
United States. Now some of you may consider us as the lower end of the human
ladder, but just perhaps, we are willing to stand up for what we find practical
and useful to us. You may prefer otherwise, but that does not make you 'right'
and us 'wrong.' It just means we disagree. Could we not just agree to disagree?
New concept here for those so stuck in their perversion of a 'right' and a
'wrong' way, CHOICE.


From: plantnut plantnut at macconnect.com> on 2001.07.07 at 06:31:27(6968)
RIGHT ON, BETSY!!!!! WAY TO GO! Impossible to have said it better!

>I hate to be a pain but who said there was ever anything 'wrong' with

From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2001.07.07 at 06:32:40(6971)
Although the word "perversion" is not something I would like to see used
against my arguments I will comment shortly: botanists are in the long run
"appointed" by the rest of the world to do a GOOD job and some botanists
(taxonomists) are required to inventory life's diversity and develop a
"language" with which we can communicate about the entities that make up
"life". Taxonomists have decided to use the dead language of Latin because
that doesn't change anymore as a result of the Romans being dead as well. I
think that when botanists have done a good job and are also judged by that,
they may as well ask the "employer" to listen to them and try to have faith
in what they're doing. I think using "pothos" after 200 years for the wrong
thing is not very smart because it DOES also generate confusion (see the
legal area where the term pothos has several meanings). Thus "common names"
sometimes have a negative effect on what has been thought out by botanists.
Botanists are perfectly right to focus attention to such cases and try to
improve the situation. That is something different than being perverted. How
about the word "geranium" for Pelargonium? NOT very smart.

I am not against common names (we also enter them in our cultivar database
on www.plantscope.nl
, where they can even be used as query arguments!) but I do not like the
ones that cause confusion.

BTW: if I may use this opprotunity: the database mentioned above does
contain quite some information on Anthurium cultivars and Spathiphyllum and
some more commercially succesfull aroid cultivars. It is not etirely
up-to-date and next week there will be a final big data-conversion, but it
may be fun to stroll a bit through it as "guest user", if you wish).


From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2001.07.07 at 14:35:58(6973)
thanks for the info on Plantscape and for the very clear and amusing defence
of botanical taxonomists. In my experience the general public are not that up
on common names for aroids anyway and will accept pretty much anything the
growers present them with. If the growers could be pursuaded to change I dont
think the public would either notice or get very agitated, especially if
synonyms were given in plant catalogues etc. It is ridiculous when really
ancient names are continually dredged up when a much more suitable and widely
used name is available. Arum cornutum is probably the best (or worst....)
example, I still see that regularly labelled as such in markets.

Best wishes,
Geoffrey Kibby

From: Betsy Feuerstein ecuador at midsouth.rr.com> on 2001.07.08 at 03:41:09(6977)
If 'perversion' was thought to throw bad light upon the thoughts of botanists,
it was said with no intent to do such. In this case, 'perversion' being the
individual soul or group, way of thinking.
Should you choose to continue your effort to manipulate the thought patterns of
the many, I wish you well. To me, it might seem that your efforts could be spent
with so much more reward to not only yourselves, but to those who truly are
interested in the clarification of the ever expanding information and ever
deleting live material. Efforts spent in doing much more than giving
information, offering it as a clearer way to deal with such material, are
efforts in forcing people to accept your way of thinking. If world wars,
hundreds of year old religious conflicts, bombing of embassies, and untold other
atrocities are not enough example to demonstrate that people believe what they
want for whatever purpose they want. There is nothing wrong with the botanical
clarification of material. It is perfect for those who use it in their lives,
but for those that do not, then common names have their place also.

As to botanists being 'appointed' to their jobs, I find that thought
interesting. It would seem to me that botanists chose their jobs, their tasks,
for whatever reason or reasons. Perhaps they liked the concept and found plants
interesting, or perhaps it was a way to earn a living, or perhaps they had a
mentor they chose to follow. Who knows? No matter what, it was a choice of the
individual to follow that path. Unless you see that you are God appointed, then
you alone have responsibility for your choices. A gun at your head is only the
individual choice of life over death. And as to being of God, I agree, but then,
so are the rest of us.


From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2001.07.10 at 19:12:15(7007)
Dear Geoff,

Thanks for the support. I agree that there is an element of "upbringing"
involved and that must indeed be done by the growers themselves or the
retailers etc. But then again, THEY have to be notified as well. That's
where publcations in non-scientific journals are for, as well as databases
like Plantscope and others (e.g. the GRIN database on major agricultural
crops, etc.). It is said we live in an information era but that means people
will have to look up that information as well and not sit back and wait for
it to fly by (which it usually won't) and when it does, start bitching that
it doesn't suit them. If it doesn't suit, ignore it but don't be surprised
when the world around you changes nonetheless. We are no longer talking in
Latin sentences anymore when we want to pinpoint a particular plant species
but we have adapted to using the Linnean system of binomial naming. Linnaeus
was one of those "perverted" taxonomists in the eyes of some of us.


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