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  Alocasia zebrina reticulata
From: "john s. smolowe" johnsmolowe at pacbell.net> on 2002.04.28 at 03:37:02(8660)
I just bought a nice Alocasia zebrina reticulata and have some cultural questions.

I have killed this species twice in the past and would like to do better
this time. Same with Xanthosoma atrovirens albomarginata.

I successfully grow many species of Anthurium and Philodendron in a
heated greenhouse in an epiphytic mix of medium firbark, medium tree
fern, medium charcoal, pumice, and long-fibered New Zealand sphagnum
moss - watered 2-3 x per week.

I successfully grow Colocasia esculenta outdoors (zone 8) in the ground.

I successfully grow Alocasia amazonica in my dry office in the same
garden-center pot and potting soil in which it came, watered only once a week.

But when I try to grow Alocasia zebrina reticulata in my greenhouse -
either in an epiphytic mix or in a standard garden-center potting mix,
watered 2-3 x per week - it dies. Same story with Xanthosoma atrovirens albomarginata.

Do these species want a well-draining mix or a moisture-retaining mix?
Do they perhaps need a dry winter rest? Do they need to sit in water?

Has anyone had luck with them?

John Smolowe

From: Albert Huntington balberth at yahoo.com> on 2002.04.28 at 18:49:48(8666)

--- "john s. smolowe" wrote:
> I just bought a nice Alocasia zebrina reticulata and have some cultural

From: Leslie Georgeson <skinnychick2 at yahoo.com> on 2004.03.31 at 16:24:46(11344)
Hi everyone,

I've been trying to find information on Alocasia zebrina reticulata. I acquired a specimen about a year ago and it has been doing quite well. However, I really don't know anything about this plant. It is growing indoors in a room lit with flourescent lighting, and is now about three feet tall. How tall can I expect this species to get? Does it produce offsets like other Alocasia species? Is is actually a hybrid? If so, of what?

Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2004.04.01 at 13:15:19(11347)
Reply-To: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu
To: aroiders
Subject: [aroid-l] Alocasia zebrina reticulata
From: enigo at bellsouth.net (Enid) on 2008.06.21 at 02:55:01(17885)
OK, does anyone out there know where Alocasia zebrina reticulata originally came from? Is it a proper species or a mutant?

From: lbmkjm at yahoo.com (brian lee) on 2008.06.21 at 18:26:48(17892)
Dear Enid,


About 1986, Roberto Burle-Marx, Betty Ho, Robert Hirano, and I went to the Philippines. Corazon Aquino just became President, and it was a wild time. Our host, Ronnie Lane was murdered a week before our trip and our new host was Dr. Vic Santos. There is an Alocasia 'Vic Santos' that we brought in for the first time. Vic made sure that we got all sorts of Philippine plants, including many Alocasia species...including Alocasia zebrina and several forms. Soon after our trip, Vic was murdered at his farm. I do not know much about Alocasia, but Bob Hirano does. Bob's collections are maintained at Lyon Arboretum and they will have records of all that was collected. Bob has retired and his eyes were messed up in a botched operation. If this forum does not come up with an answer for you, I can contact Ray Baker at the Arboretum and he may have some information on their BG-base data system. Another source of information may be at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop
Museum. They were involved in the Philippine Flora Project and I can contact Clyde Imada to see if they have any records in conjunction with this program.

I look forward to seeing what this thread reveals.



From: ju-bo at msn.com (ju-bo at msn.com) on 2008.06.21 at 23:52:12(17896)
> Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 11:26:48 -0700
> From: lbmkjm at yahoo.com
> To: aroid-l at gizmoworks.com
> Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Alocasia zebrina reticulata

Dear Enid and Leland,


Leland, please investigate and see if you can come up with any good info. on this plant and it`s variations.
Enid, check the page on Steve Lucas` web site on this plant, we did and extensive investigation a few months ago, and all that we could come up with is published there, some very interesting stuff.
I hope this helps.



From: hluther at selby.org (Harry Luther) on 2008.06.22 at 00:04:51(17897)
I believe that I first saw an Alocasia "reticulata" at Fantastic Gardens in Miami in the summer of 1976 in their private, keep out stock house. This was when the Mentelos family had the nursery. My memory may be off a bit as its filled with bromeliad stuff. HEL

-----Original Message-----
From: aroid-l-bounces at gizmoworks.com

From: Steve at ExoticRainforest.com (ExoticRainforest) on 2008.06.22 at 18:59:25(17902)
Enid, here is the link to all the info I was able to get from Alistair Hay, Julius and others. I hope this helps.


Steve Lucas

From: dburch23 at bellsouth.net (derek burch) on 2008.06.23 at 00:21:17(17906)

I hate to be pedantic (actually, I don't, it is all I have left), but if you
are going to present the name as variety reticulata, that word (reticulata)
should be italicized. It is just as much a 'scientific name as is the
specific epithet or the genus name. So you would write Alocasia zebrina var.
reticulata, but, of course you can only do this if this varietal name has
been validly published. If not, to be strictly correct, you would refer to
this as Alocasia zebrina reticulate form. This is what all the catalog
writers and advertisers should be doing, not grasping for pseudoscience.

I would also say (and thoroughly agree with Alistair Hay on this) that it is
rather loose speaking to refer to this as a sport. If, as appears to be the
case, it is just one of many forms that occur in a variable wild population,
then the appropriate measure would be for someone to select a particularly
striking specimen, verify by vegetative propagation that it has a stable
appearance over several generations and then name it as a cultivar -
registering it if I can ever get the cultivar registration program for
aroids off the ground (mea culpa here for slow resolution in setting the
program on a firm footing). By the way, there is absolutely nothing except
one's own sense of responsibility to stop anyone tacking on a cultivar name
to anything. Sad but true. It won't be a registered cultivar name until the
formalities have been done, and then we would all be able to see what this
cultivar should look like, and to whom the blame for it should go.

I really am trying hard to get the registration program going and I have a
registration form worked out that I would be glad to send to anyone willing
to test and suggest improvements. Then I will eventually try to persuade the
board that we as a society can make this work, and join the many other
groups that do this naming responsibly.


From: Steve at ExoticRainforest.com (ExoticRainforest) on 2008.06.23 at 02:14:48(17909)
Thanks. I thought we had this one fully worked out with Alistair and Julius' help but will recheck this tomorrow. I had a bit of a rough weekend medically but will hopefully be up to speed tomorrow.



From: lbmkjm at yahoo.com (brian lee) on 2008.06.23 at 11:03:11(17918)
Dear Enid and Julius,


I will follow through on assembling what information I can find out on this end. Could someone post clear photos of the plants in question? I think it would be helpful to have petiole and leaf blade photos of Alocasia zebrina and the variations. Inflorescences would be great. Including photos of the Alocasia zebrina variant known as tigrina and Alocasia 'Tigrina Superba'...unofficial names in circulation; would be instructive. If anyone grows all or more variations...perhaps a side by side photo would be illustrative.

I have grown a few Alocasia zebrina through the years,but I have lost them since I grow them in the ground and ignore them. At some point, I put all my plants in the ground ( unless they are epiphytes)...are they prone to nematodes? I grow some of the small species of Alocasia in the ground and if they survive a year or two, they seem to settle down and be less prone to rotting and disappearing. Some of these are very tough once they pass the "delicate stage". Some disappear for a while and return from "dormancy"...as it were, and grow without much fuss. I have had some Alocasia rise like the phoenix after years of no above ground growth...but the new plants have a resilience unlike the plants I originally planted...which were rot prone and delicate. A tangent I thought I'd share...if anyone out there has had similar experiences.



From: lbmkjm at yahoo.com (brian lee) on 2008.06.23 at 11:20:13(17919)
Dear Derek,


It is good at times to be both pedantic and didactic...if it is in manageable doses. I am still low tech and I do not know how to get this machinery to italicize letters or underline in emails...I know I'll learn one day...I am learning new techno skills daily. Old dogs can learn new tricks.



From: denis at skg.com (Denis) on 2008.07.01 at 20:23:28(18039)
Alocasia zebrina 'reticulata' was subsequently tissue cultured by
Oglesby Plant Labs in the 1980's to satisfy the small collector's market
for this unusual plant. Only about 1,000 to 1,500 plants were produced
at that time. You might could ask Plantsman Jim Georgusis who currently
is working at Oglesby Plants if he knows anymore about the origins of
this cultivar. I think he worked at Fantastic Gardens in the 1970's.

The plant is currently being produced in Tissue Culture at Agristarts,
Inc. in Apopka Florida.

The question is still open as to whether or not Alocasia zebrina is true
species described in the literature somewhere or just a sub variety of
Alocasia tigrina group.


From: botanist at malesiana.com (Peter Boyce) on 2008.07.08 at 21:45:53(18115)
Hi Denis,

I am quite surprised that no one has picked up on the last comment in your
posting regarding the status of A. zebrina in cultivation.

As you know, Alistair Hay in his herbarium-based account of Philippines'
Alocasia (Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 51: 1-41 (1999)) treated A. zebrina as
a variable species and included under that name A. wenzelii. He made no
mention of the name A. tigrina (or A. zebrina tigrina) as this name and any
combination thereof has never been formally published and thus from a strict
botanical standpoint dos not exist. Goerverts et al. include a further name
as a provisional syn. (A. liervalii) but without further discussion.

Not withstanding the strict application of application of published names,
it is clear to anyone who grows A. zebrina that there are several
conspicuously different (but likewise clearly allied) entities in
cultivation, among which the form with reticulated venation is particularly
striking. What of course is needed is a comprehensive field study to try to
untangle these cultivated clones and see where they may have originated. For
that reason I have ccd this aroid-l posting to Melanie Medecilo in the
Philippines; Melanie is currently working on Philippines' Alocasia and if
anyone is able to shed some light on the status of the various clones of A.
zebrina she can.

Very best


From: lbmkjm at yahoo.com (brian lee) on 2008.07.09 at 22:17:39(18126)
Dear Pete,


It is hard to comment on issues that some of us have no knowledge on. That is not to say we do not have an obsessive desire for knowledge. We wait on bated breath for tidbits of treasure from you.

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum used to participate in a program called, the Philippine Flora Project that was to catalog as many of the in-situ plants remaining in the archipelago...which was being destroyed at a pace and scale that would see many habitats extirpated. I do not recall the percentage of the destruction, but it was a significant proportion. My point here is that if habitats are destroyed, it will be impossible to reconstruct some of these interesting pearls of information we all desire. I can ask Clyde Imada if Alocasia species were catalogued in this program...hopefully your contact will respond with a wealth of new information to enlighten the darkness. I am optimistic that Melanie will answer the call.



From: botanist at malesiana.com (Peter Boyce) on 2008.07.10 at 08:32:35(18130)
Hi Leland,

I was more thinking along the lines that the numerous folks who grow
Alocasia zebrina might pitch in with observations on the different
menifestation that this species takes in cultivation.

The Flora of the Philippines project is stll active but is suffering from
the same problem besetting several similar projects in Asia, that of a
dearth of botanists tackling alpha-taxonomy and the almost universal problem
that so few students are coming into field-work based botany once they leave
university such that as the few remaining active
field-taxonomists/systematits become fewer still there are a
disproportionately small number of young bloods entering the career.


From: lbmkjm at yahoo.com (brian lee) on 2008.07.14 at 18:45:49(18146)
Dear Pete,


What a shame. What will happen when there are no field botanists with the knowledge to recognize species in habitat? I have taken young molecular taxonomists into the field and some of them really have no clue what they are looking at until you tell them. At this rate, there will come a time when no field botanists will be able to lead them to their samples...which they send off to distant labs to analyze the relationships.

The other problematic issue I see is that whole genomes are not analyzed, only sections that are not necessarily associated with known characteristics. I see a great need for traditional botany...but the lure of molecular biology is hooking most of the young fish these days. One day I see entire genomes of all plants being sequenced...which is a good thing in the long run. There will always be a great need for morphologists in the field, however...in my humble opinion...until all the plants are located on GPS and barcoded and linked to the great databases they envision. Who will control this information?

In the meantime,I hope the horticulturists out there report their observations. Unfortunately, most of these plants are not associated with good locality data... It will serve as a survey of variation,however.



From: mossytrail at hctc.com (mossytrail) on 2008.07.15 at 03:00:13(18157)
> What a shame. What will happen when there are no field
> botanists with the knowledge to recognize species in
> habitat? I have taken young molecular taxonomists into
> the field and some of them really have no clue what they
> are looking at until you tell them. At this rate, there
> will come a time when no field botanists will be able to
> lead them to their samples...which they send off to
> distant labs to analyze the relationships.
The other side is, those of us who ARE interested mainly in
the field side of things have to consider our options. I am
starting grad school this fall. Of the several schools I
applied to, the one which offered me a position was East
Carolina University, with a faculty member who mostly does
wetland biodiversity processes, i.e., ecology. Yes, I
believe I will enjoy that, as it does relate to my
(admitteldly wide-ranging) interests; but whether I will be
able later to cross over into field taxonomy, who knows?

From: Steve at ExoticRainforest.com (ExoticRainforest) on 2008.07.15 at 19:17:03(18162)
Leland, I could not agree more!

Dr. Croat explained to Janice and I in early June the Missouri Botanical Garden is now installing a new computer program that will allow almost anyone to enter basic information (vein count, blade information, petiole info, node spacing, etc.) on a plant in their possession and be led closer to finding scientific names for a possible species match. All that work has to be done by well trained and experienced field botanists. Once that system is installed I hope Tom will explain more about it to all of us.

I find it regrettable that many collectors appear to prefer to simply accept any name from eBay and then continue trading cuttings of a specimen with an incorrect name. From the mail I receive, I see that happening all the time. I checked eBay just this morning and found many offerings (especially Monstera species) with totally made up names. Some were not even in the genus Monstera but were from Pete's part of the world (Malaysia) and appeared to be Rhaphidophora or Amydrium. But once sold, they will continue for a long time with a Monstera name that simply does not exist. In a few years they will likely be sold again, and again using that bad name.

One collector I exchange mail with prefers only the shape of the leaf and is not concerned about the correct scientific name. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with building a collection based on the beauty of the plant, I simply prefer to understand where my specimens originated in nature and how they grow naturally. To learn that, I need to locate the correct scientific name. So, without the help of good field botanists there won't be journals to read and learn that information. How will a collector ever be able to benefit from gene counts anyway?

As you know, I spend a lot of time trying to learn the correct scientific names for the plants I grow. I find Dr. Croat's journals very helpful since they contain field photos, the entire description of the plant, and to top it off are inexpensive to purchase.

With the help of the experienced field researchers on this forum I can locate the correct name for some of my plant, just not all. Field taxonomists like Pete, Dr. Croat and others make collecting not on enjoyable, but also personally self educational and rewarding. So, thanks to all of the field experts on this forum who freely help all of us!

Steve Lucas

From: botanist at malesiana.com (Peter Boyce) on 2008.07.16 at 01:11:41(18163)
Dear Leland,

Well, where I live unless there is a change in education policy to imbue those few (and it is FEW) students with some botanical aptitude, to gain knowledge of the basic building blocks of botany, notably comparative morphology ecology & geomorphology, the spectre of no wide-experience field botanists, already a fact in many parts of Asia, will become a region-wide problem. In fact the whole of taxonomy, let alone systematics, is in danger of slipping off the curriculum in universities throughout the region such that only the minute hard-core (essentially botanically hard-wired) folks will make it through and continue. The problem then will be that there are increasingly fewer jobs that call for taxonomic expertise such that those few that wish to remain in the field usually end up earning a living doing something at the best only tangentially associated with their passion. Of course the irony is that there has never been a greater need for taxonomic expertise in order to make the rational decisions require
d to protect the remaining tropical habitats.

Curiously, I am not anywhere near as doubtful or indeed pessimistic about the increasing use of molecular data and also don't altogether agree with the total genome argument. Regarding the function of various parts of the molecular code, in recent years there has been made enormous strides in understanding what various coding regions 'do' such that the link with this and evo-devo is now a well established area of scientific exploration. Of course some of these areas are ferociously expensive but with molecular extraction methodologies and analyses programmes increasingly simplified costs are dropping such that basic extraction and methodologies are well within the budget of even quite modest research establishments.

Regarding the usefulness of molecular data, especially vis-a-vis the ability of the molecular practitioners to actual identify the organisms they are studying, yes, I agree, that still far too many molecular research outputs are the product of lab rats without any practical field training and worse are oftentimes undertaken without or with only minimal taxonomic cross fertilization. However, that situation is fast becoming history as more and more multi-author research outputs based on sound alpha-taxonomy, with the molecular toolbox being opened only once a decent 'traditional' taxonomy is established and is testable. This is much the approach we are using, with a multi-stranded project that is investigating alpha-tax. and then phylogentics and then using the phylogenies to investigate spatial evolution, etc. We have been very fotunate to find good students who are willing to spend the necessary field time as part of their molecular-based research and as a result have a much more complete biological reserac
h toolbox.



From: Thomas.Croat at mobot.org (Tom Croat) on 2008.07.17 at 01:55:00(18182)
Dear Pete:

This is well stated and thoughtful. I agree with you
completely. I believe that perhaps the only place where there will be
real systematists will be in the underdeveloped countries and
fortunately these are the very places where we need taxonomists,
especially if these areas are in the tropics.


From: gcyao at mydestiny.net (George Yao) on 2008.07.17 at 13:49:32(18191)
Hello everyone,

Being from the Philippines, I asked around, and so far the comment I
got was that A. zebrina reticulata is a virus infected A. wenzelii.

Is that the case?

George Yao

Note: this is a very old post, so no reply function is available.