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Re: [aroid-l] Question--Colocasia "Black magic"

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Question--Colocasia "Black magic"
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@msn.com>
  • Date: Tue, 06 Apr 2004 09:59:54 +0000




From: Tony Avent <tony@plantdelights.com>
Reply-To: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu
To: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu
Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Question--Colocasia "Black magic"
Date: Mon, 05 Apr 2004 18:27:10 -0400

Dear Friends,

Great observation, Tony!! Tissue culture is known to produce rapid mutation in Aroids, several of the commercially available 'new' Alocasias have also been developed this way!
Though I have written on this topic many times, I am not sure that many of us 'get it' concerning how relatively quickly some/most aroids evolve/mutate vegetatively. In Colocasia and Xanthosoma, being perhaps the most commonly and widely grown (as food), we can see the record on these most easily. To come to the 'hard wall of realization' quickly, take a look at Colocasia----It was introduced to Hawaii just a few thousand years ago by canoes, probably just a very few cultivars, yet by the time anyone (modern man) 'took notice', the Hawaiiana had developed over two hundren cultivars (yes, over 200!!) just by selecting off-shoots of one that may have been 'different' or superior to the 'mother' plant, no sexual reproduction involving pollination was involved!! Almost the same can be said for Xanthosoma. I have also recorded a very suspicious rapid vegetative evoloution' in the giant aroid Montrichardia on Trinidad which I am still looking at!
To see this actually happening, buy a plant of the Xanthiosoma sp. (with the little frills below the leaf blade) and just see how the off-shoots can change from the 'original' mother-plant!


Good Growing,
Julius

Jason:

Regarding your Colocasia 'Black Magic' question, I can share a bit of background. This clone clumps in most climates, but when grown as an aquatic, it does produce runners. In very wet season, we have seen the occasional runner. In tissue culture, C. 'Black Magic' mutated to a form that runs in all climates. It was given the name C. 'Black Runner'. This form also has leaves that emerge darker and have more ruffling around the edges. I hope this helps.

At 01:15 AM 4/2/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>"Dean Ouer" <d.ouer@cox.net> wrote:
>
>>Can any of you aroid experts answer the following question about the
"Black Magic" colocasia?
>>I grow it in So California and also in Hawaii. The leafs look identical
to me in both locations so I always assumed they are the same species.
However, when grown in California it "suckers" only right next to the base
of the mother plant. The suckers are so close it is even hard to split off
the "pups." In Hawaii it sends out long runners (3-5 feet long) with a
plantlet on the end like I have seen other Colocasias do. But the "Black
Magic" I grow in California has never sent out a runner. And the one I grow
in Hawaii only seldom suckers close by.
>>Are there two different species of "Black Magic" or is this difference in
growth due only to climate?
>
>The differences you describe, sound like subspecies/varietal differences!
Colocasia esculenta has 3 subspecies/varieties: C. e. esculenta, the
nominate form; C. e. antiquorum; and C. e. aquatilis. Could it be that the
'Black Magic' leaf has appeared in two different subspecies/varieties?
>
>Jason Hernandez
>Naturalist-at-Large
>
Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, NC 27603 USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
email tony@plantdelights.com
website http://www.plantdel.com
phone 919 772-4794
fax 919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it myself...at least
three times" - Avent

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