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Re: Correlation to A. titanum "events"

<< I found that people who previously had known nothing about aroids were 
 fascinated by the unusual A. titanum.
In response to Jeanne Hannah's posting about these Amorph. titanum 
flowerings, I must add that she hit the nail on the head with the statement 
above. These titanum flowering events provide unprecedented opportunities to 
communicate messages to the public about aroids, and about plants in general. 
One could also take the time to include information about pollination 
biology, tropical conservation issues and other topics that relate to this 
species. This plant is so charismatic in flower that it totally captures 
everyone's attention. At this prime moment, people are so very open and 
receptive, you have literally got them in your hands and they will hang onto 
your every word.

The worst thing to do is to ignore the education opportunity and not 
communicate fully with your Public Relations people since they generally 
don't have the insights to provide good messages without a lot of help. If 
you leave them to their own devices, PR will then resort to using a lot of 
fluffed up media hype which will dilute anything real you might wish to 
accomplish. The situation has the potential to quickly degenerate into a kind 
of cheap carnival sideshow presentation. A certain amount of this will happen 
no matter what you do. 

Thank you Jeanne for all the praise, but the event at Selby was handled by a 
number of people, not just me. I have to mention that Gail McDaniel grew the 
plants that flowered. Also, I took all the digital web photos but the web 
site was produced by our Information Services Department.

In addition, I want to add that Amorph. titanum plants that flowered this 
summer are not all from seed. Our two plants both came from Symon's seed 
distribution of 1992, but both Seattle and Huntington's plants were from 
tissue culture distributed by Palmengarten in 1993.

Donna Atwood
Selby Gardens

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