Re: [aroid-l] Question--Colocasia "Black magic"
- Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Question--Colocasia "Black magic"
- From: Tony Avent <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- 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 <email@example.com>
>>Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Question--Colocasia "Black magic"
>>Date: Mon, 05 Apr 2004 18:27:10 -0400
>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
>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!
>> 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" <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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
>>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
>>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
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
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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