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Re: Alocasia nebula & A. reginae

  • Subject: Re: Alocasia nebula & A. reginae
  • From: Peter Boyce <phymatarum@googlemail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 06:45:18 +0800

Hi Marek,
 
Yes you photos are correctly identified. These species are certainly closely related by readily distinguishable. Alocasia nebula is a large plant, up to 70 cm when fully grown. The petiole are erect to erecto-spreading, with the lamina held at downwards angle to the petiole. Leaf colour is medium grey with darker areas and the leaves can get up to 45 cm x 25 cm. Although nebula is now pretty well established in cultivation, its exact origins are obscure. In the mid-1990s Josef Bogner and myself and independently Alistair Hay, saw this plant growing at the Semenggoh Botanical Research Centre in Kuching, Sarawak and none of us could identify it. We independently asked the staff where the plant originated (since it was clearly occurring at Semenggoh as a planted, rather than locally indigenous species) but none was sure.
Anyhow, it, along with most of the more spectacular Sarawak Alocasia, remained undescribed until Hay's revision of 1998 (when it was treated as insufficiently known and called just Sp. A) and finally received a formal name in 2000. The remarkable thing is that it is still unknown in the wild. Certainly we have looked for it with some vigour, finding some spectacular new species along the way, but as yet with no success for nebula. The group it belongs too are often associated with particular geologies in very specific localities (i.e., reginae on the Mulu limestone, reginula on limestone in E Sabah, melo on ultrabasics in E Sabah, venusta on the Niah limestones, etc.) and thus it is very probable that nebula is found only in a very specific place on a particular geology. The similar case was A. reginula, which has been in cultivation for a long time but was only found in the wild very recently on the Tabin limestones in E Sabah.
 
Alocasia reginae is a small plant (max to 25 cm) with the leaves held in more-or-less a rosette and with the lamina in almost a straight line to the petiole. The leaf surface tends to be deep blue-grey with darker veining and with the backs of the leaf very deep red-purple, with the colour stopping abruptly at the top of the petiole. It is abundant on limestone outcrops in swampy forest at Mulu and perhaps elsewhere in NE Sarawak.
 
I can't better your picture of nebula, but I will post one of reginae in a separate email.
 
Very best wishes and Happy Chinese New Year
 
Pete
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2009 6:17 AM
Subject: [Aroid-l] Alocasia nebula & A. reginae

Hello,
 
I think the plants in my website are identified correctly,
can anybody tell me what's the main difference between
Alocasia nebula and Alocasia reginae:
 
Best Regards
Marek Argent


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