To all those on aroid-l,

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Steve Hall and I classify
myself as a beginner when it comes to growing aroids. Though I am not new
to aroid-l, this is the first time I have posted. I must confess that for
the past two years I have been one of those "interested lurkers" on
aroid-l. I originally joined the list serv so that I could track down
information and a source for a plant called a "voodoo lily" which I used to
grow when I lived in Chicago eight years ago. I now live in San Francisco.
Well, much to my surprise not only did I find what I needed but I became
fascinated by reading the posts on aroid-l. The more I read, the more I
wanted to know. I feel that I can not be a lurker anymore and would like
to, so to speak, "come out" to you all.

This may sound really bizarre but I think I have slowly developed into an
aroid fanatic. I have tracked down a copy of Deni Brown's book and leave it
on my night stand as if it were a Bible left by the Gideons. Happily, I now
know what a spadix, spathe, and inflorescence are and have learned a
substantial amount about amorphophallus which are my favorite aroids of the
moment. I purchased an amorphophallus rivieri konjac, amorphophallus
bulbifer and sauromatum guttatum from Plant Delights Nursery and grew them
last year. I can't wait for them to break dormancy this year. However, in
the past two weeks I have developed a strong desire to learn more about
arisaema since I recently received my copy of Opendoors with all the
luscious pictures! Sadly, I do not read Japanese but I am going to look
into trying to atleast get the figure captions translated. If my endeavor
is successful I will share the translations with anyone who desires.

I would like to thank everyone on the list serv who has posted in the last
two years. I have learned so much! In particular I would like to thank Sean
O'Hara, Steve Marak, and Krzysztof Kozminski for giving me seeds and tubers
in the past.

Steve gave me Dracunculus vulgaris seeds which I tried to germinate. Sadly,
I was only able to get one of them to grow. After the foliage died, I dug
up the plant to find that a small pea sized tuber had formed. I was giddy!
Even more so, when last week I noticed that the pea sized tuber started to
come out of dormancy!

Sean O'Hara was kind enough to give me one of his extra Dracunculus
vulgaris tubers. The story of how I received it is quite interesting. Even
though Sean only lives across SF bay from me, because our schedules were so
hectic last year it took us about 2 months to coordinate a day when I could
come over to Oakland and pick up the tuber. We ended up meeting
clandestinely one rainy evening in an underground subway station where Sean
handed off the tuber in a shopping bag. After a few moments of friendly
chat the tuber and I boarded a train bound for the city and we were wisked
back across the bay in the shadow of darkness. I'm happy to report that the
tuber broke dormacy last week and it seems to have generated a small family
of babies as well.

I plan to keep learning as much as I can about growing these fascinating
plants and again thank you all for allowing me to discover them. Hopefully,
in the future I can contribute something intelligent to the list serv but
for now I hope that you all will tolerate, from time to time, what may seem
some very basic questions from me.

Steve Hall

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