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Re: [Aroid-l] Edible Araceae, Aroid art, Wild Bovines,

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Edible Araceae, Aroid art, Wild Bovines,
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@msn.com>
  • Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2006 13:13:36 +0000

From : 	Peter Boyce <botanist@malesiana.com>
Reply-To : 	Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent : 	Saturday, December 16, 2006 5:00 AM
To : 	"Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
CC : Wong Sin Yeng - yahoo <sinyeng99@yahoo.com>, Wong Sin Yeng - UNIMAS <sywong@frst.unimas.my>, Dr Timothy Hatch <tim@pop.jaring.my>
Subject : 	Re: [Aroid-l] The Saola and the Araceae

Dear Pete and Ted,

Thanks for a great discussion and much information on two of the subjects I have a lot of interest in, the edibility of the Araceae AND wild Bovine species! Does anyone know if perhaps the genus Schismatoglottis may contain less of the crystals/compounds that make most other aroids so very unattractive to browsing animals or man?
What is 'ulam', Pete, a type of curry or stew??
The blooms of Spathiphyllum canifolium are reportedly used and cooked as an ingredient in curies in Surinam/N. S. America, and I got a recent record of the blooms and young leaves of Caladium bicolor being cooked and used as a food in Arima, N. W. Trinidad, W.I., the name used for them there was 'ca-chew'. I`d also like any input from you guys 'out there' on a slide I saw at the MOBOT conference several years ago, it showed a crudely put-together table of veggies somewhere in field in Asia (Thailand??), and amongst them were tied-up bundles of the unmistakable purple-colored blooms of Lasia spinosa with their spiralled tops. On another note of interest to some of us, "Aroids in Art" (Steve Marak and other collectors!), just by pure chance and only this morning while I was browsing through the illustrations in a book ("The Body", Edward Lucie-Smith, 1981, Thames and Hudson Ltd., London, ISBN 0-500-233339-X 10-81) (this book turned up after my major home repair), and in it on pg. 91 I came across a reproduction of an old painting by Albert Van Der Eeckhout (active 1637-1664), "A Tarairiu Woman", c. 1641. It shows a woman in Brazil who is carrying a basket attached to her forhead by a tump-line, the basket contains the lower leg of a human, she also carries a severed lower human arm and hand in her right hand. On the left border of the painting are shown the unmistakable 'canes/stalks' (erect rhizomes) of the giant aquatic aroid species Montrichardia linnefera, these canes are bearing three pineapple-like infructesences, and several leaves. Other aroid leaves are shown along the bottom right of the painting, but are shown too dark in the copy in the book I have to be identified. It reports that van der Eeckhout accompanied Count Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen, who led a West India Company expidition to Brazil, and that v. d. E. illustrated in paintings, watercolors and drawings and 'on the spot' the flora and fauna, an early type of scientific and anthropological record. (Pete, you told us that the seeds of this plant are roasted, and that while visiting Brazil you tried them, and that they were in fact very good food!) It would be of great interest to search in the records (in Holland?) and see what other plants and aroids from Brazil were illustrated by Van der Eeckhout! (come in, Wilbert H., "Lord Phallus???).

I look forward to comments and any information from you guys out there!



Hi Ted

Was interested to see your posting on the saola and aroids. In the late 1990's I was involved with a UNDP/Lao Forest Department project training parataxonomists in the northern part of the Lao PDR as part of a NTFP project funded by UNDP & Danida. While in Lao I met up with Bill Robichaud, then of WSC, who was studying saola and was one of the first westerners to successfully get photographs from camera traps. Bill asked me to identify plants that he had collected from saola grazing sites and these proved to Schismatoglottis calyptrata (Roxb.) Zoll. & Moritzi, a variable and widespread species and is common in everwet forest in IndoChina (its full range is from tropical northeastern Myanmar to New Guinea).

It now seems likely that the saola's primary range is the remote and very precipitous, not to say very wet mountains along the border between Bolikhamxay and Nghe An provinces in Lao & Vietnam respectively with increasing evidence that it most saola and saola habitat in Laos probably lie outside of Nakai-Nam Theun, in areas of Bolikhamxay Province (and to a lesser extent Savannakhet and Xekong Provinces) the area (Nakai-Nam Theun) traditionally considered its main range

Reverting to the aroid aspect, here in Sarawak leaves of Schismatoglottis motleyana (Schott) Engl. are occasionally sold as a vegetable. used to make ulam and are favoured for the astringent/sour taste they impart. In Sabah I have seen leaves of another Schismatoglottis (possibly S. venusta A.Hay) sold for similar purposes.


----- Original Message -----
From: ted.held@us.henkel.com
To: Discussion of aroids
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2006 11:36 PM
Subject: [Aroid-l] The Saola and the Araceae

This is a distraction from our usual fare, but I saw an interesting article on the little-known saola, an exotic bovine. The current Science magazine (December 1 cover date) contains a picture and written reference of an unidentified Araceae, which the rare animal is believed to eat. The saola, also known as the Vu Quang ox, is the last new large animal to have been discovered. It was unknown to science before 1992. Although they say it is related to the cow, it looks more like an antelope. The few remaining individuals live in Vietnam and Laos. The article contains some interesting information on the animal and its bleak prospects, but nothing about the aroid save the following:

"The forest ecologist finds safe footing on the slick slope and grabs a handful of broad, dark-green Araceae leaves. 'Saola like to eat these," [Do] Tuoc says. 'At least, we have seen bite marks.'"

There is a photograph of Mr. Tuoc holding some nondescript taro-like plants in each hand (fibrous roots, perhaps 30 cm petiole height).

The saola diet is unknown, save for the hints that it might like tucking into a luscious aroid. Much of the remainder of the article is a discussion, pro and con, of the idea of attempting to clone the beast in an attempt to preserve it.

Anyone having a liking for extremely rare animals can e-mail me separately and I will send them a pirated scan of the article. I don't think anyone will mind this violation of copyright as long as we don't sell copies.



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