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Re: [Aroid-l] P. 'S. L, Dan and Ted--a reply!

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] P. 'S. L, Dan and Ted--a reply!
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@msn.com>
  • Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2007 14:48:49 +0000

From : 	<plantguy@zoominternet.net>
Reply-To : 	Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent : 	Friday, February 23, 2007 9:48 PM
To : 	"Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Subject : 	Re: [Aroid-l] Philodendron 'Santa Leopoldina'

Dear Dan (and Ted!),

In our narrow "focus" on this discussion, we have most certainly ommited a most important point raised by Dan (below), that being the inspection of the sexual parts of the blooms, and comparison to a 'true' specimen of P. s.-sancti (available in the fantastic botanical illustrations of Dr. Goncalves). What I write is from memory, so PLEASE confirm by checking on Eduardo Goncalves' article with GREAT photos and illustrations of ALL aspects being discussed.
A couple of comments will clear this up.---

1) Dr. George Bunting, who originally described the species, did not have a bloom (fertile material), so Dr. Goncalves had to wait till he could obtain fertile material, and only THEN did he complete his fantastic work on clarifying and doing a new description, photos, drawings and all, INCLUDING delailed illustrations of the microscopic sexual parts which are imperative in a FINAL determination. He also gave invaluable information on the width-to-length ratio of the leaf blade, very few or maybe no other species of Philodendron as an adult produces a leaf with a blade that is close to this ratio. Ted, to address a point you made, this species has been recognized for MANY years as being 'special, and plants from the original area have been in collections for a LONG time (60 years??). Bear in mind that these plants are suspected of living for HUNDREDS of years! The material used by Dr. Goncalves in his description is certainly of this species. The reports of the small number of these plants surviving in 'the wild' are VERY accurate, as difficult as it is to even comprehend, ALMOST the entire area of what USED to be jungle is now cow-pastures, a very small remnant of patches small of jungle remain, and the land and these priceless patches (and the remaining plants) are owned by a man (a friend of Dr. Goncalves) who recognizes this unique plant. Read Dr. Goncalves' description of the width-to-length ratio of the leaf, look at the photos and drawings, and you will and can have NO doubt if you have or do NOT have or are dealing with a legit. specimen of P. s. sancti.

2) This species seems to bloom only occasionally, so obtaining blooms for comparison w/ Dr. Goncalves' illustrations is difficult! There is a photo on Steve Lucas' web-page kindly supplied by Mic Pasqual of Australia of a bloom produced by his plant which is purported to be this species, unfortunately the lower part of the spathe was not cut away so as to be able to see and examine the female parts, but the hope is that Eduardo can at least give an opinion as to the plant`s determination based on the spathe/bloom and the photos of the leaves.

3) I have never seen any blooms on any of the other Philodendrons sold as P. "Santa Leopoldiana", but they are all FAST-growing, vineing species, none have the width-to-length ratio of their respective leaf blades, so can not be included as legit. P. s.-sancti. As discussed (read Eduardo`s article) 'Santa Leopoldiana' does NOT seem to be a legitimate name, so basically ANYONE can call ANY Philodendron P. 'Santa Leopoldiana" and do with it what they want, so "let the buyer beware"!!

4) In closing, I urge all growers to obesrve their plants, and should a bloom be produced, take GOOD photos of both leaves and blooms (after carefully cutting away a portion of the lower spathe so as to be able to see the female parts). If no fertilization is attained, please preserve the entire bloom in 'rubbing alcohol', there are folks who would like to dissect and examine these blooms. Steve Lucas is doing a wonderful service and a fantastic job of compiling information, correspondence and photos of these plants in an attempt to sort this puzzle out. He is doing so amid some pretty 'rough' attacks, etc. Please bear in mind that neither Steve or myself are trained Taxonomists, the FINAL word will hopefully be forthcoming from the experts like Dr. Croat and Dr. Goncalves in Brazil WHEN THEY HAVE THE TIME TO EXAMINE ALL THE POSTED MATERIAL!! Keep up the good work Steve.

Good Growing,


Well, I have been following this thread with some interest although I have never grown a Philo. in my life. In spite of my monumental ignorance of the genus I finally have gotten up the nerve to ask a completely silly question. I have only heard people talking about the leaf of these plants, the rate at which they grow, color of top and bottom of leaf, etc, but surely a proper ID can not be made for this plant, or this genus I would have thought, based on leaf form and color can it?? The pictures being posted are incredibly beautiful and the difference between juvenile and adult leaf forms is intrigueing, but truly points out the difficulty of relying on these features for an ID. I have not read of anyone describing the "naughty bits" as Wilbert refers to them for his favorite genus. Does the Philo. world not rely upon the reproductive bits in the influorescence for a proper ID?? If so, then it would seem that proper IDs would be possible for anyone that has flowered their plant. Are these almost impossible to flower thus adding to the difficulty?? Also, I would assume that someone is doing the proper DNA work-up on these plants so that a completely unequivocal ID can be had by anyone that wants to submit and pay for genotyping, but perhaps not??

I apologize for the questions of an outsider in this rather exciting conversation, but I hope that perhaps I can learn a little bit along the way and perhaps someday I will even have a Philo. of my own....any old Philo. Please be gentle in your responses :o)

Gibsonia, PA
zone 6a, where Spring is hopefully just around the corner :o)

   ----- Original Message -----
   From: ted.held@us.henkel.com
   To: Discussion of aroids
   Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 2:33 PM
   Subject: [Aroid-l] Philodendron 'Santa Leopoldina'


OK. So how reliable are the reports of the remaining P. spiritu-sancti in the wild? What distinguishing marks should we be looking for? I have been looking at the pictures in the postings and they vary quite a bit. How do I know a real one when I see it? On what basis do the searchers in Brazil make their determinations? Maybe the only plants left are examples of one or another of the sham plants.


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