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aroids for teaching

  • Subject: aroids for teaching
  • From: "derek burch" <dburch23@bellsouth.net>
  • Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 17:53:33 -0500

Carol, I wonder if you may be making this too difficult for yourself. There
are some very common things - cultivars for the most part but a few species
are available -which fit your size requirement and free-blooming need, and
are easy to grow (that is why they have become common). 

There is no point going for "rare". The students will not learn anything
more from a plant scarcely known to science than they will from my
suggestions: the new more dwarf anthuriums sold as flowering pot plants, and
Spathiphyllum. The anthuriums in particular are almost ever-blooming, and
are so floriferous that several classes can tear each up an inflorescence
without you grieving over the end of a flowering cycle. If you want to make
an interesting comparison, grow some Spathicarpa, and there is a sure-fire
way to get them speculating about what bits are comparable and what are not.

I'm sure that you will get some other great ideas from real aroiders, but I
taught taxonomy for so long that I tend to shy away from fancy and go for
what is sure to work.

Regards, Derek

-----Original Message-----
From: aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com [mailto:aroid-l-bounces@gizmoworks.com]
On Behalf Of Carol McCarthy
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 2:51 PM
To: Discussion of aroids
Subject: [Aroid-l] aroid recommendations

Hello Good People,

     I work at a university greenhouse that supports, among other things,
the teaching of a plant taxonomy class.  Can you please recommend some
species in the Araceae family that I could grow for the class?

Requirements:  1) Tropical or subtropical, a year round greenhouse grower.
2) Can be kept to about a 6 inch pot size or smaller and be a blooming size
plant.  3) Ideally the plant would bloom fairly often or could be convinced
to bloom around the second half of September in a greenhouse in the USA,
West Virginia. 4) flower structure, fairly typical spathe and spadix.

     I have lurked on this list a while so I am somewhat familiar with the
family.  I can supply dry and or cool resting periods or extra heat and or
light to encourage the plant at the needed time of the year.  I would prefer
a true species but an example is much better than no example.  Between this
greenhouse and another on campus we have several examples of species in the
family but they are mostly philodendrons and Dieffenbachia that either don't
bloom very often or only bloom when they are larger plants than we are
usually able to accommodate.

     If you suggest something out of the ordinary, which I personally would
prefer, please include some hints on where to obtain plants.
Feel free to reply publicly or privately.

Thanks for any help on this.

Carol McCarthy

West Virginia University - Dept. of Biology
Greenhouse Manager

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