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Re: Your Unknown Aroid Might be an Aglaonema

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Hyndman <scothynd@magicnet.net>
To: ju-bo@msn.com <ju-bo@msn.com>
Date: Sunday, January 17, 1999 12:32 AM
Subject: 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
> 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
> 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,
> me somewhat of Bok Choy in growth habit.  The leaves are as large as 40 to
> 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
> grew. They are almost impossible to kill!]  The leaves of this new plant
> spectacularly beautiful --- shiny forest green on the margins and a
> 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
> to see if it is REAL!
> There are presently 6 inflorescences.  They arise from the apex of the
> sometimes 2 or 3 together.  The stems of the flowers are about 10 cm long,
> is the present length of the flowers. The flowers seem immature right now
> the spathe has not opened much. The spadex is white/ivory with a tinge of
> 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
only reserve my final judgment until I see a photo of your plant.  My
from your apt description is that the plant is an Aglaonema, perhaps the
'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
at the local farmers market this past summer was identical to a plant that
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
If this is your plant, you will be very happy with your purchase for a long

Take a photo and send it to Lester Kallus for identification online via the
Identification Center linked from the IAS home page or at

Regards,  Scott

Mr. Scott E. Hyndman
Winter Park, Florida, USA
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 9b

Dear Jeanee,
I believe that Scott is correct on this being an Aglaonema, as your GOOD
discription matches several new ones developed by Dr. Brown here in Florida,
and which are becomming common in every retail outlet that you care to look
in.The fact that it flowers so readily also points STRONGLY to it being an
Aglaonema and not a Diffenbachia.   From a little more tech. view, take a
look at the details of it`s blooms, and if the bottom 1/2 of the spadix (the
little 'stalk' that rises up from the spathe, or leaf-like structure)
arrises free from the BOTTOM, or BASE of the spathe, rising upwards, it is
an Aglaonema sp. or hibrid, but if (and it`s difficult to illustrate this
without a diagram!) the LOWER portion of the spadix is attached along the
lower half of the middle of the spathe rising upwards, THEN the upper (male
section)  frees itself and sticks upwards, it`s a Diffenbachia!   Pity you
do not have the WONDERFUL volume, 'The Genera of Araceae', still available
from the International Aroid Society, where this is SO well illustrated!!!
As Scott said, plants of this Aglaonema that sold at auction for a LOT of
money recently  are now on 'sale' at Home Depot and K-Mart near to where I
live in W.P.B., Florida!!   It is however a BEAUTIFUL plant, and we hope to
see a photo of it on the web soon to be able to give you a positive I.D.
  [Just in case it IS a Diffenbachia, wear gloves, AND wash your hands after
pruning or plucking a bloom or leaf, this Genus WILL hurt you!]
Good growing, and good luck!!

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