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

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Question--Colocasia "Black magic"
  • From: Tony Avent <tony@plantdelights.com>
  • Date: Tue, 06 Apr 2004 12:13:22 -0400


	It is amazing when you grow enough plants to watch for mutations.  Some
genera are very unstable and other seemingly never mutate.  I expect that
many genera simply have faulty cell division processes...sort of like
buying a computer with a bad hard drive...sometimes it works...sometimes it
doesn't.  A classic example is hosta, where there are a small number of
green species.  We now have over 4,000 named cultivars.  Only a tiny
fraction are seedlings and the rest are due to mutations.  There are now
groups of plant nerds that go on sport-fishing expeditions to nurseries and
they aren't looking for fish.

At 09:59 AM 4/6/2004 +0000, you wrote:
>>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,
>>	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 
>>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
>Watch LIVE baseball games on your computer with MLB.TV, included with MSN 
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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