I've seen plants labelled 'Ace of Spades'
that I'm reasonably certain were the same as my Philo, Steve. I
would bet a small sum that one of
the parents is erubescens, but I've never
seen anything in print to back that up. Unfortunately, it seems
almost all info on these old Philo hybrids from the 50s thru the 80s is lost in
obscurity. I've tried to find something out about 'Red Princess', which
was WILDLY popular decades ago, without success. That one was in every
nursery and dept store in the country, offered in hanging and climbing forms,
and florists loved it. But it's very hard to find now. It has
been replaced, at least with florists, with 'Red Duchess', a slightly larger
plant that has lobes where 'Red Princess' does not. 'Duchess' is much
faster growing, which probably caused the demise of the slower but IMHO more
attractive 'Red Princess'.
I got my 'King of Spades' Philo at an
obscure southern Louisiana nursery many decades ago when I was going thru
there on old Highway 90
(long before I-10) on
vacation. Keep me up on what you find out, if anything.
Oh, by the way, the correct spelling is
'Merkel' in the Alberts & Merkel Nursery name I mentioned. I thought
it might be Merkle, not. Jean Merkel
died in his 90s last year, and his daughter
sold the business in Boynton Beach from what I understand. Jean was huge
in Aroid circles, having actually named the Aglaonema cultivars 'Pewter' and I
believe 'Malay Beauty', which are supposedly only slightly different.
These have faded into
history too, replaced by newer hybrid
Ags. I'm trying to collect as many of these old Philos and Ags as I can
find. Once in awhile I hit pay dirt.