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Re: Philodendron selloum

  • Subject: Re: Philodendron selloum
  • From: SelbyHort@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 09:46:12 -0600 (CST)

To add to Neil's comments below and Julius' earlier about older collections 
of this species in Florida, some older FL hort books and trade publications 
listed both P. selloum and P. bipinnatifidum as distinct species. About 20-30 
years ago in the FL nursery trade sometimes the names were used almost in a 
varietal or even cultivar sense. During those years in the hort trade, the P. 
bipinnatifidum "form" was considered superior and more sought after. I seem 
to recall from my retail nursery days in the early-mid 1980s that any plant 
labeled with the name P. bipinnatifidum sold for a higher price than those 
labeled as P. selloum. Probably some unscrupulous nursery owners capitalized 
on this and labeled all their seedling plants with this name to garner a few 
more dollars, other growers actually produced cuttings taken from some select 
forms and gave them the P. bipinnatifidum name to distinguish them. The 
latter were far less common in cultivation and quite rightly fetched the 
highest price. Occasionally some newspaper or magazine article would 
elaborate on these plants and discuss the various points of difference 
between the two "forms" in cultivation. Afterwards customers would come in 
asking for P. bipinnatifidum and would turn up their noses at any plant 
labeled with the P. selloum name as a "common" seedling of unknown parentage, 
and less desirable, thus we always tried to keep a small supply of plants, 
acquired from trusted wholesale sources as cutting-grown P. bipinnatifidum, 
for our more "discriminating" buyers! In the back nursery area we kept some 
stock plants of a few superior P. bipinnatifidum forms to propagate for 
special customers, because we could not always find a wholesale source for 
the "true" P. bipinnatifidum grown only from cuttings. Later, this P. 
bipinnatifidum name became lost in the trade and all you could find were the 
uniform plants labeled as P. selloum. I guess it simply became uneconomical 
for wholesale growers to produce cuttings of those special forms, so one 
could no longer find all the variations of this species in nurseries. 

Donna Atwood

<< some confusion has existed in the past over P. selloum and P.
 bipinnatifidum....Engler considered them separate species. the two names
 have in the past been used to differentiate two different populations
 (Gottsberger and Amaral 1984) and In 1991 Mayo joined the two into one
 single species ....P. bippinatifidum is the true name....P. selloum has been
 reduced into synonomy.

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