Dear fellow Aroidophiles,
I do not often ask my friends for a plant, but for a LONG time I have been
in hope that I would come across a plant of the species I am about to
describe. Many years ago I visited a collector here in W.P.B., she had
just returned from a collecting trip to Paraguay with a group of mainly
orchid nuts led by Fred Fuchs, I believe. She had three plants of a
Philodendron, and I fell in love (read 'lust') with this plant. It was
I.D.`d as probably being P. dubium by the late (and GREAT!) Dr. Monroe
Birdsey, who actually had one collected in the same spot in Paraguay as
where this woman had collected hers, but Monroe`s died a few years later.
It looks like a Lasioid, very tall leaves, deeply sagittate with a short,
pointed main lobe to its leaf blade, long rear lobes, grows very compact
out of a thick short rhizome which is orange in color like an American sweet
Both Monroe and this woman described collecting it in a shallow depression
which would be a swamp when it rained, it grows in this depression and looks
like a huge patch of Xanthosoma from the car!! It is clearly visible in
the middle of a cow-pasture on the left side of the road that runs from
Asuncion due East to the border with Brazil, the Iguazu falls were their
destination. She said that they grew in a hard, brick-like baked clay, and
had great difficulty digging them up, Monroe said the same.
I tried every possible way to try to trade for one of the three over a
period of several years, but she said no, accepted every rare plant I left
as trade, promised to 'think about it', the three plants got weaker, one
died, then she said she would rather them die with her than anyone have
them. Two years later I went back to check if perhaps she had a change of
heart, but she almost proudly took me to her g/house to show me the two pots
that contained the dried and hollow husks of the long-dead rhizomes, which
she had saved to show to me. Don`t know why, but for some strange reason I
have not visited since!
Anyhow, IF any of you out there in Aroid Cyber-space has a plant of this to
spare, or news of someone who has, please remember me!