Your Unknown Aroid Might be an Aglaonema
Jeanne Hannah of Zone 5b wrote:
> I think it is a Dieffenbachia of some species. [This is just a guess.] I
> explored the IAS website without finding anything that looked like it, but the
> description of Dieffenbachia seemed to fit. From the level of the growing
> medium to the top of the plant is about 1 m. The four stems [stalks]? in the
> 16" pot are an almost waxy white/ivory color, very fleshy, and about 36 cm
> where the leaf begins. The stems grow upward in a layered manner, reminding
> me somewhat of Bok Choy in growth habit. The leaves are as large as 40 to 44
> cm and shaped similarly to a large Peace Lily [sorry, do NOT know the genus of
> that, though I'm sure you do. Peace lilies are the first plant I successful
> grew. They are almost impossible to kill!] The leaves of this new plant are
> spectacularly beautiful --- shiny forest green on the margins and a delightful
> dull pewter in the center. The white/ivory from the stem traces into the
> central veining on the leaf, and just a little more on the lateral veins.
> This plant is *so beautiful* that two customers in Meijer came up to touch it
> to see if it is REAL!
> There are presently 6 inflorescences. They arise from the apex of the leaf,
> sometimes 2 or 3 together. The stems of the flowers are about 10 cm long, as
> is the present length of the flowers. The flowers seem immature right now as
> the spathe has not opened much. The spadex is white/ivory with a tinge of pale
> green, extending to the tip of the spathe. The spathe itself, just now, is
> colored a pale green. Whether that will change as the flower matures is
> unknown to me.
> Any clues on identification from the above description?
Your preliminary identification of Dieffenbachia may be correct, although I can
only reserve my final judgment until I see a photo of your plant. My inclination
from your apt description is that the plant is an Aglaonema, perhaps the cultivar
'Queen of Siam'. This once very rare hybrid Aglaonema from Thailand is now
available widely in the US market at reasonable prices. The specimen I acquired
at the local farmers market this past summer was identical to a plant that went
for auction at the 1995 IAS Show and Sale for nearly $US 100. This cultivar
grows very well and very fast for an Aglaonema, perhaps due to the hybrid vigor.
If this is your plant, you will be very happy with your purchase for a long time.
Take a photo and send it to Lester Kallus for identification online via the Aroid
Identification Center linked from the IAS home page or at
Mr. Scott E. Hyndman
Winter Park, Florida, USA
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 9b