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[Aroid-l] According to Deni Bown P. hastatum is now P. domesticum

  • Subject: [Aroid-l] According to Deni Bown P. hastatum is now P. domesticum
  • From: "Steve Lucas Exotic Rainforest" <steve@exoticrainforest.com>
  • Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 09:20:37 -0600

Today I came across this very interesting quote in Deni Bown's excellent book Aroids, Plants of the Arum Family.  On page 219 Deni writes: "In addition to these species, many elephant's ears in cultivation come under the name Philodendron domesticum (synonym P. hastatum).  No one seems to know where this species came from either".  The assertion Philodendron domesticum was formerly known as Philodendron hastatum is then repeated on page 329.
Personally, I would not consider P. hastatum an "elephant's ear".  Numerous websites, including the USDA, now assert P. hastatum is a synonym of P. domesticum.  It appears the belief Philodendron hastatum is now known as Philodendron domesticum may have originated from this text.  Philodendron hastatum was identified 112 years before Philodendron domesticum.  All photos on the internet described as Philodendron domesticum do not even look like Philodendron hastatum (P. hastatum has distinctive blue green leaf blades).  No official database I can locate has a photo of P. domesticum.  I have also tracked down other names (i.e. Philodendron elongatum, Philodendron hastifolium) that are stated on botanical sites to be synonyms of Philodendron hastatum.  I am trying to get to the source of this belief and if it is even possible it is factual the older name has been replaced with a much newer name.  According to numerous emails exchanged with Dr. Croat and a few with Dr. Eduardo Gonçalves we know exactly where P. hastatum originated: Brazil.  Philodendron elongatum appears to be a variant of P. hastatum and one source says that plant originates from Guiana. 
I can find nothing on TROPICOS, ePIC, IPNI, or other databases to verify the belief the name has been changed.  Dr. Croat's logic appears distinctly to the contrary.  Despite checking every available database I cannot find where P. domesticum originated.  Does anyone have contact with Deni Brown and, if possible, can we gather a clarification as to where this belief Philodendron hastatum is now Philodendron domesticum originated?
Steve Lucas
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