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Re: [aroid-l] Tuber pricing questions

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Tuber pricing questions
  • From: "Marge Talt" <mtalt@hort.net>
  • Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 02:31:09 -0500


First off, I wouldn't go to Van B's for aroids - they're OK for the
more common hardy bulbs; don't waste $$ on their perennials.  There
are many growers of aroids on this list and there's a list of growers
on the Aroid Society pages:  http://www.aroid.org/links/index.html


The price for the Arisaema is outrageous - see Plant Delights, you
will get what you pay for there:
http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Current/page8.html  Ellen Hornig
normally has A. candidissimum for fall shipping of dormant tubers;
it's not on her spring Seneca Hill Perennials list, but if Tony's out
of them, email Ellen - she is on this list and can speak up and say
whether she will be offering this in the fall.

The price for the Alocasia is more reasonable (if they're referring
to Alocasia macrorhiza albo variegata) and if it is really that large
a tuber,  except I'd really expect a growing plant for that and I do
not think that's what you'd get from Van B's.  If they say 'tuber',
it's probably dry as a bone.  That is a fairly rare form to find -
probably many on this list grow it, but it's not easily found for
sale.  I got one last spring (small plant but doing nicely) from
Steven L. Ankeney - Rare Tropical Plants.com 
http://www.raretropicalplants.com.  Email him and find out if he has

Others on this list may be offering it and ought to speak up.

Arisaema are often shipped as dormant tubers - no problem growing
them from those if you provide them with the conditions they require.
 A. candidissimum is not a difficult species; it is very late to
emerge in spring for me - might be different for you in S. CA.  I do
not know how Arisaema fare in your climate. 

I personally don't have enough experience with Alocasia to know just
how interesting it is to bring a totally dormant tuber back to life -
others on this list can speak to that.  I've never tried storing
Colocasia or my one precious Alocasia out of the ground dry.  I know
I'd rather have a growing plant and kill it myself than buy something
that may be DOA.    I would imagine that your major difficulty in
growing the Alocasia would be your dry climate - they like humidity
and heat.  Probably would need part shade where you are or at least
afternoon shade - depends on where in S. CA you are, I guess.  I fell
in love with this one growing in the butterfly house in Raleigh, NC -
it was at least 12' tall; magnificent plant.  I don't expect mine to
make that size; I just hope it lives:-)

Others will need to speak to your calla lily flower question and
hopefully give you more advice on growing these plants in your

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
Current Article: Battling Bambi
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All Suite101.com garden topics :
> From: Rosalind <rozgold@pacbell.net>
> Hi folks!
> I was looking through the bulb catalog of a company called "Van
> Bourgondien," and noticed two aroid listings with what seemed to be
> high prices - I called the company to confirm that the price in
each case
> was for a tuber, and not for a plant.  The two listings are:
> Arisaema candidissimun - "Cobra Lily" - 1 tuber for $49.95 - the
> says the bulb is a "#1 bulb".
> http://www.dutchbulbs.com/spring/z32880.76824.html
> Alocasia macrorrhiza "Variegata" - Tuber is 7" - 11" in diameter -
1 tuber
> for $24.95.
> http://www.dutchbulbs.com/spring/z32880.71862.html
> Here's my questions:
> 1) Are these prices at all reasonable?  Are the plants that rare or
> difficult to obtain to justify the prices?
> 2)  Assuming the prices are somewhat reasonable, how hard are these
> to grow from tubers? - I would hate to risk that amount of money on
> something that was extremely difficult to grow.
> Finally, on a slightly different topic, I'm seeing lots of great
> calla lilies that are being offered by various catalogs.  If I get
a bulb
> that's about 2" and grow a plant from it, approximately how many
blooms will
> I get in one season?  I'm just trying to figure out if one bulb
really means
> only one or two blooms - my apologies for how basic of a question
this is -
> I seem to have lent out all of my gardening books to friends
> Thanks!
> -Roz, in Southern California

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