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RE: Fw: [Aroid-l] Comments--Santa Leopoldina

  • Subject: RE: Fw: [Aroid-l] Comments--Santa Leopoldina
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@msn.com>
  • Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2007 22:06:13 +0000

From : 	Steve Lucas Exotic Rainforest <steve@exoticrainforest.com>
Sent : 	Thursday, February 15, 2007 9:36 PM
To : "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@msn.com>, "Enid" <enigo@bellsouth.net>, "Leland Miyano" <lbmkjm@yahoo.com>
Subject : 	Fw: [Aroid-l] Santa Leopoldina just got murkier!

Dear Friends,

I have compiled several notes from Steve, Dennis and Leyland discussing the ongoing saga of P. "Santa Leopoldiana" and have commented on what my opinions are, in the case of Leyland Myano`s note I have commented withing brackets [-----] after the paragraphs in his note where I wished to add something. I hope this helps, and would like to hear what Dennis and other owners of specimens ex: Bette Waterbury`s original plants have to say about my suggestions re: an exchange to distribute/share the too-small existing gene pool.

Good Growing!

Thanks Dennis, nice work.
Dennis, from my MEMORY (and that is not of the best these days), when this whole auction thing first got going w/ Betty Waterbury`s plants, there were three original plants that I believe either Dewey or myself auctioned off that very first year. I THINK that Trisha bought one, and Betsy another, I don`t recall who got the third (I just re-read your note, Dennis, and you answer my querry on these ORIGINAL three plants!) So now with Trisha`s most kind recent donations, the IAS may presently have repsentatives/offshoots of two of the three ORIGINAL plants ex. Betty Waterbury, Betsy has the third. Dennis, what about considering this suggestion---maybe we can convince Betsy to eventually trade you one of her off-sets for one of Trishas, or two of hers (IF available) in return for one of the IAS` AND one of Trishas, so Betsy will then have offsets of the three "originals", and the IAS will also have offsets of all three??. Dennis picks the story of the IAS-owned plant and its propagation from there on. If my memory is correct, the plants donated to Dennis/the IAS by Trisha are VERY important, as they may represent another one of the original clones ex: Betty Waterbury`s original aquisitions from Brazil, and therefor may be different genitically to the IAS plant. We may never know with absoloute certainity if the three ORIGINAL plants are different collections, OR just divisions from one plant, maybe close inspection and comparison of the IAS/'Dennis' plant to Trishas plants may show some significant difference?? We can compare Betsy`s plant to these at a later date?? The plants pictured on Dave`s web site purported to be this species are NOT this plant, MOST of them appear to represent a species that has been around a long while and has on occasion, either in error, OR as a ruse for profit, been sold under the name P. 'Santa Leopoldiana' or worse, P. spiritu-sancti. Others pictured also are various common species that have hastate lobes or just elongate leaves, they are not the specie we are discussing, though they may have been BOUGHT by their now- unfortunate owners as being this. There are TONS of the distinctive, purple-reverse side to the leaves Philodendron with longish internodes that grows at a very fast rate at many homes in WPB. I`d investigate Mic`s photos more deeply (we need Eduardo`s opinion!!), as I believe them to be very important, as these actually have a bloom and this is critical to ID, and also show the shape of the cross-section of the petiole---THANKS MIC!!.
I`ll comment on Leyland`s note after each of his comments, so see below---

----- Original Message -----
From: Denis Rotolante
To: Steve Lucas Exotic Rainforest
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2007 1:15 PM
Subject: RE: [Aroid-l] Santa Leopoldina just got murkier!

Just some more stuff for the murk:

These are some recent pictures I took of the Philo that the Aroid Society has be auctioning off pieces of for years. It's been growing in my nursery since a little after Betty Waterbury's death. Two plants of the "Santa Leopoldina" were auctioned off the following year and I held on to the third one to propagate from. I never realized how highly it was prized until then. and we have been propagating it ever since. Darn thing is slow even in my greenhouse. Recently Trisha Frank gave me three little propagations that she had made of her dying plant by using hormones to force breaks. those plants have now bolster our supply of stock.

Doctor Birdsey, when he was alive used to complain at the auction that he had the same thing growing in the rainforest he called his yard, and that it grew easily like most other phillies and he didn't understand the fuss. Well, obviously he did not have the same thing in his yard otherwise he would have discerned the difference. He probably had one of the imposters.

My pictures shows the pink tinged backside View A, and the leaf shape with a slight bulge just before the anterior lobes begin View B, and the stem with the short internodes between leaves.

I too have heard this anecdotal story (from Dewey Fiske) about there being two types; one with a maroon backside and one with a slight tinge of pink. At one time it was said that the red form had been sent off to be tissue cultured but nothing ever came of it. They must not have been able to isolate a clean living culture of meristematic tissue. Probably killed the donor plant too.

How's that for murk.

Silver Krome Gardens, Homestead Florida.

   -----Original Message-----
From: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com] On Behalf Of Steve Lucas Exotic Rainforest
   Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 6:11 PM
   To: Discussion of aroids
   Subject: [Aroid-l] Santa Leopoldina just got murkier!

I had hoped the situation would get clearer regarding plants being called 'Santa Leopoldina'. Perhaps it has cleared just a bit, but it also has gotten murkier! Today I increased the number of plants from 5 to 11 bearing this name! Brian Williams furnished some good comments along with photos which I have included on the blind web page.

Very important, as far as I am concerned, are some new comments from grower Leland Miyano in Hawaii. For those of you who don't know Leland, you should! Leland has an incredible collection of very rare philodendron species on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Leland was a personal friend of Roberto Burle Marx and worked closely with the master artist and plant collector. Leland knows Roberto's property and plants very well. He also knows philodendrons very well! I have a copy of a personal reference from Roberto given to Leland which any plant collector would cherish were it written for and to them!

Here are some of Leland's comments today sent in personal emails. I have marked what I consider very important comments and information in red. Especially his comment which I have increased in size and made bold:

Aloha. Thank you for referring me to your aroid-l discussion...I am not subscribing, but you can use my information.

First of all, Philodendron'Santa Leopoldina' should be dropped from common usage. It is of no help and other scientific names should be used for the sundry imposters.

[Oh, how I agree!]

Secondly, I have seen two types of Philodendron spiritus-sancti and the only difference is the color of the underside of the blades. One is deeply burgundy and the other is tinged. I have seen many of
   these plants and there are many more in cultivation than in the wild.

[I agree---and we need to start a file of photos DOCUMENTING these plants and their differences as outlined by Leyland]

The number 4 and 6 in your photos may be the same plant which I was calling Philodendron billietiae. #4 is a younger plant and as it ages the color fades from the back and the blades get wider and shorter in proportions. If any Philodendron sold as P. spiritus-sancti has long internodes or grows fast, it is an imposter. Even very small plants of Philodendron spiritus-sancti have the short internodes. Philodendron billietiae as a youngster is the easiest to pass as spiritus-sancti. Growth in Philodendron spiritus-sancti is very slow...I have seen plants sit there for years without gaining much length in the stem.

[ I agree on the growth being VERY slow. I have not seen the photos in question. I know P. billetiae well, we collected THE best specimens in Fr. Guiana a few years ago, a while ago I wrote a note on the VERY SPECIAL specimens that ONLY exist in a tiny area I refered to as ''Joep`s secret garden", one of these collected plants won best-in-show last year.]

I also think that someone or the aroid society should donate plants of Philodendron spiritus-sancti to Fairchild and Missouri ( or any well-funded and commited public garden) before the tissue cultured plants are released. That will be a good conservation move. These need to be in a public accessioned and well curated collection. The other danger is hybridizing very closely related types...those of us who prefer pure species will not be able to tell them apart. It may already be happening due to the lack of specimens and or clones. This same problem has happened with cycads and now the hybrid swarms are confusing everything...even before the species are adequately studied. If the habitat disappears, then we will never know all the details we love."

[I agree w/ gardens eventually getting specimens, BUT these things tend to 'walk' out of public gardens. I don`t agree w/ the hybrid comments, as P. spiritus-sancti does NOT bloom regularly, and to the best of my knowledge no one has ever managed to obtain pollen (we tried this year with THREE blooming plants, SEVERAL different blooms of TRUE P. spiritus-sancti, NO pollen was seen so none could be collected!) much less seed and seedlings.]

In a later email Leland made this comment about some of the photos you will see on the blind link today: "I took another look at the blind link and the newly posted photos of some of Brian William's plants look like hybrids."

[ I don`t believe there ARE any hybrids of this true plant, see my comments above.]

And in a third email Leland made these comments, " This aroid-l has opened a can of worms for me again. I am looking at your photos and plants in my yard. #4 and 6 are the same plant in my opinion. Young plants are like #4 in that they are bluish above and burgundy on the underside. They get longer and greener for a spell until they get their mature form which look like the figures 154-155 of Aroidiana (vol. 9(1-4))...Philodendron atabapoense. I forget how I got the id of Philodendron billietae, but that is the name I have used....maybe Dr. Croat can comment. At anyrate, my plants vary and the mature leaves have
   yellowish midribs and petioles."

[I don`t have the photos, so can not comment, but yellowish petioles and midribs sound like a common feature on GOOD clones of P. billietae to me]

I have have also received few email comments from others with similar opinions. As yet, I have not seen any comments from the PhD's and I am most anxious for their comments to be heard. I know that several who read the comments here are anxious to get to the bottom of this entire situation. Here is the link to the updated blind link:

I hope those of you who are familiar with any of these "unknown" species and/or hybrids will make your voices heard!

   Steve Lucas

[Keep up the good work, Steve.


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