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Re: Winter!

Alaska isn't exactly the Midwest,  but I'd love to let you know what is
happening here in the truly frigid north.  Over four feet of snow has fallen
at my house,  but a windstorm turned most of that into capricious drifts a
week ago.  The outside temperature has varied from 25F to -28F.  Today we
are holding steady at 0.

My Aroid collection has grown enormously thanks to Aroid-L and the Arisaema
Enthusiasts Group.  I wish I had kept better records of where all my new
plants came from.  Most of my records were email archives that were
disappeared when my computer crashed in mid 1998.

I have several Amorphophallus species that have gone into dormancy this
month.  A. bulbifer keeps increasing.  The last leaf is just now fading.  A.
odoratus went dormant a month ago.  I couldn't resist checking it out,  and
discovered it had increased from one to 5 tubers.  A. konjac from Sue Zunino
has been dormant for 4 months.  I have no idea how long I will wait to see
it again.  The seeds of A. henryi that I sowed a year ago have finally just
germinated,  and one is sending up it's first true leaf.

My seed grown Anthurium clarinervium have been blooming but not setting
seed.  A. Scandens v. leucocarpum has been blooming like crazy, and is
setting seed.  The opalescent pink berries are very pretty.  I should have
quite a crop of seeds in a month or two.  Some of my Anthurium seedlings
were attacked by mutant aphids this fall,  and I lost all but one A.
amnicola and one A. gracile.  I managed to save 3 A. bakeri.

I had seedlings of Dracunculus canariensis and Sauromatum venosum growing in
flats outside this summer,  and some pesky magpies pulled all the tags out
of the pots,  and even uprooted some of the plants.  They are all mixed up
now,  and I won't know which is which until they mature and perhaps bloom.
They have continued growing indoors under lights,  and as they go dormant,
move them to my extra refrigerator, pot and all.  They both seem to be
spider mite magnets,  and it has been quite a battle staying ahead of those
little monsters.

Same for my Arisaema seedlings.  Some of them came out of dormancy just as
the snow started falling in October,  so I moved them indoors under lights.
As they go dormant they get moved to the fridge. I did have three A.
triphyllum bloom the second year from seed.  They bloomed sequentially
through October and November.  The first two flowers were either male,  or
withered.  The third flower appears to have set seed.  I suppose pollen from
the first two could have been floating around in the dust of my house,  or
perhaps the flower was hermaphroditic and self fertile,  or perhaps the
seeds are sterile.  I am new at this and don't have a clue,  but it is fun
to watch.

My Spathyphyllum isn't blooming,  the Aglaeonema is.  The Zantedeschia and
Colocasia are dormant.  The Arisarum vulgare and A. proboscideum are growing
under lights,  but no signs of bloom.

The best news is that last week I was able to rescue a small shoot of
Philodendron erubescens 'Burgundy' that had separated from the parent vine
and some offset tubers of Alocasia chantrieri 'African Mask' from a
neglected public planting.

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you all get an Amorphophallus titanum to
bloom this year.

Jaime Rodriguez.
Wasilla, Alaska
USDA Zone 3 & 4


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