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Re: Alocasia macrorrhizos and A. cucullata

  • Subject: Re: Alocasia macrorrhizos and A. cucullata
  • From: "mossytrail" <mossytrail@hctc.com>
  • Date: Tue, 08 Sep 2009 17:56:07 -0800

So you are saying they appear to be cultigens?  But cannot
cultigens have valid species names (e.g., Zea mays)?  And in
that case, there can then be named cultivars of such
cultigens (e.g., Zea mays 'Ruby Queen').

Jason Hernandez

> Certainly 'species' such as A. macrorrizos and A.
> cucullata bend the boundaries a lot. What is of course
> interesting is that A. macrorrhizos (notwithstanding its
> doubtful 'pure' species status) is definitely related (and
> here we are talking molecularly) to some unquestionably
> 'good' species, such as A. portei and A. flabellifer,
> which poses even more difficulties. It is also problematic
> to lalk about utilization of cultivars, especially those
> that are selections of what may themselves be cultivars,
> albeit so long-standing that they have effectively
> stabilized and function as species, even to the extent
> that they have lost the ability to hybridize with other
> elements of what was once a single gene pool.
> Forgive me if I appear to be avoiding answering your
> suggestion. But the fact is that I am not sure HOW to
> answer. The bottom line is that, at present, we can only
> be sure that A. macrorrhizos and A. cucculata are NEVER
> found away from human disturbance in 'habitat' and
> furthermore, away from the attention of horticulturists
> are remarkable morphologically stable.
> As a final thought on this, it is also important to
> remember that species framework, and the interspecific
> crossing is often in nature not just a matter of
> 'incompatibility'. Distribution, flowering time even down
> to the level of time of day, and how these barriers
> function to  manage pollinators, or select for a
> particular pollinator guild, are as much, if not more, a
> barrier than simple unrelatedness. If ever an example was
> needed of the role of pollinator guild niche selection,
> the orchids of the Stanhopineae contain numerous examples.
> Cheers
> Pete

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