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Re: [aroid-l] Dracunculus "white form"

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Dracunculus "white form"
  • From: Steve Marak samarak@arachne.uark.edu
  • Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 00:36:05 -0600 (CST)


I finally had a moment to go back through old disk files ... in 1994, a
then-member of Aroid-L was able to distribute some wild-collected D.
vulgaris seed from Crete (along with Arum purpureospathum). He sent quite
a large amount, collected from a number of populations. Some populations
were, or had plants of, the color variants. The seed was a mix of what was
available, since of course at seed time he didn't know for sure what
plants were of the unusual forms.

I personally didn't get great germination from them, and none of the
surviving plants appear to be anything but the ordinary form - about the
same as the "heirloom" plants I already had. Has anyone else had better
luck with them?

Below is a paragraph he posted at the time about them:

"I know of a healthy population in S. central Crete in the S.-facing mouth
of a large limestone gorge. Here the Dracunculus grows among small trees
and on stony, almost scree-like limestone slopes at about 500 m altitude.
These are hot, Mediterranean conditions. Some plants have the normal dark
purple spathe and spadix, whereas others have an entirely creamy white
spathe but the normal dark purple spadix. The odd few are intermediates
with mottled spathes and orangey spadices. I saw these in flower in April
1989 and later collected seeds in July 1994. Subsequently, these seeds
were distributed among various subscribers to Aroid-L (together with Arum
purpureospathum, also from Crete), and news of their progress appears from
time to time (any more news?). Unfortunately, I do not know of a
commercial source for the white form."


On Fri, 21 Feb 2003, Deni Bown wrote:

> Could I just add that it's always been a mystery to me why this magnificent
> aroid isn't in cultivation. I came across a sizeable colony of the pale form
> near some polytunnels of tomatoes (i.e. on waste cultivated land) and they
> were simply gorgeous - very tall plants with huge spadices, some uniformly
> pale green with either black or yellow spadixes, and others were variously
> piebald maroon and pale green. Though described by Huxley & Taylor in
> Flowers of Greece and the Aegean (1977) as "white-flowered", there were no
> white spathes (or yellow ones)among the ones I saw, though perhaps others
> colonies show other variants. I have no idea how common this form is, or
> whether the colony I came across still exists.
> There really should be a serious attempt to introduce the pale form into
> cultivation. If anyone has, or is likely to have seed, PLEASE let me know!

-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@arachne.uark.edu

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