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Re: Synandrospadix vermitoxicus

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Re: Synandrospadix vermitoxicus
  • From: "Eduardo Goncalves" <edggon@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 23:39:59 -0600 (CST)

Dear Al,

   Once again, I must say that I have never seen these goodies (Gorgonidium 
and Synandrospadix) in nature as yet, but I have read a lot of herbarium 
schedules! (I am still lurking among dead plants with Andean Spathicarpoids) 
Both Synandrospadix vermitoxicus and Gorgonidium vermicidum seem to be very 
common in Salta and there are lots of collections known. Jorge Crisci in his 
revision of Aroids from Argentina (Crisci, 1971, Rev. Mus. de La Plata Bot. 
11(64):193-284) lists approximately 15 collections of S. vermitoxicus and 10 
collections of G. vermicidum only from Salta province, and it was in 1971! 
Many more were collected since then. Such numbers show that they are common, 
because aroids are usually overlooked by plant collectors. Both species are 
known to be fond of well drained rocky soils, mainly at the margins of small 
fragments of forest or gallery forests. Synandrospadix seems to like sunny 
spots or very bright shade. There is a tip: don't go during the southern 
winter (from May to September) or you won't find anything. Most collections 
were done from November to April. There is another tip: If you find one of 
them, look around and maybe you will also find the other one. Tuberous 
aroids are not so creative in South America, so they usually occur together! 
Every time I find Taccarum I take a look around and also find Spathicarpa 
and sometimes some tuberous Xanthosoma. It is common to find herbarium 
collections with a inflorescence of Spathantheum and a leaf of Gorgonidium. 
They occur so close together that it is not possible for a common collector 
to distingish between two different genera in the field.

                                  Best wishes,


>From: Al Wootten <awootten@NRAO.EDU>
>I once inquired, preceding a trip to Chile, what aroids I might find
>there.  I was told none, though there were plenty in various yards and
>gardens around Santiago.  I understand that this is one aroid which lives
>very close, on the Argentinian side of the Andes (where I understand one
>might find Gorgonidium vermicidum also) near Salta.  This is the next
>town from our site for the ALMA telescope array on the Jama road over
>the Andes from Calama, Chile; sites near Salta were proposed also, being
>touted as very dry.  Higher is best, so the site was chosen at Chajnantor
>near San Pedro de Atacama.  If the weather in Salta is similar to that
>at Chajnantor, the southern summer, sometimes called the 'Bolivian winter'
>or more politically correctly the 'altiplanic winter' is the wet season.
>During this period the wind shifts from a constant westerly flow over the
>Atacama desert to an occasioal easterly flow up from the Amazon basin
>bringing moisture to the peaks (and snowfall to Chajnantor, where there was
>a several inch accumulation last week).
>I'm not sure how much the weather at Chajnantor applies to Salta, but
>we operate extensive weather monitoring equipment there, the data from 
>may be examined at http://www.tuc.nrao.edu/mma/sites/sites.html
>including photos etc.
>I would be interested sometime in taking a field trip and hiking around 
>If anyone knows how common these aroids are or what sort of microclimate
>they enjoy, I would like to hear about that also.  There are descriptions
>on page 164 in The Genera of Araceae by Mayo, Bogner and Boyce, with color
>photos of the flowers in Plate 115.  The local climate is indeed described
>as thorn country.
>Clear skies,
>|Al Wootten, Slacktide, Sturgeon Creek at the Rappahannock|
>|Astronomer (http://www.cv.nrao.edu/~awootten/)           |
>|genealogy homepage  http://members.tripod.com/~astral    |
>|Deltaville, Virginia              (804)776-6369          |

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