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RE: [Aroid-l] P. williamsii/P. stenolobum-a resoloution

  • Subject: RE: [Aroid-l] P. williamsii/P. stenolobum-a resoloution
  • From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo@msn.com
  • Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 14:40:09 +0000

Dear Folks,

Some of the final correspondence on this tricky subject was carried on off the aroid-L; this was caused mainly by the difficulty of posting pics., etc . I thought I`d pass on what seems to be a final resoloution on the determination of what these two species really are, and what was the final outcome concerning a WONDERFUL old illus. mentioned by Neil Crafter, who lives and grows aroids in
Australia . This illus., plus great information supplied by Dr. Goncalves in Brazil, were the final 'clinchers' in the discussion. A few more snippets of info. came to light which I will also mention here, and with luck we will soon have an actual photo of a living plant of TRUE P. williamsii somewhere on aroid-L!!!! Now THAT is something!
OK, here goes. P. williamsii, it turns out, is a GOOD species described by J. B. Hooker. The description, together with a great hand-drawn illustration, was published in a Botanical Magazine # 5899 in 1891. The type specimen/plant (which ultimately was grown at Kew Gardens in England), was collected in Bahia, Coastal Brazil, and was sent to J. B. Hooker in England by a Mr. Williams, and so was named in Mr. Williams` honor. It differs completely from Dr. Goncalves` P. stenolobum, which occurs only in Cen. Brazil further to the South. ( see Eduardo`s note on this subject recently posted on aroid-l ).
The BIG differences between these two species, which can be seen and appreciated by us amatures, are the differences/ratios in measurements of the anterior lobe the leaf, the differences in the shape of their respective gynociums/ovaries, and the differences in the number of locules/chambers in their ovaries. All of these differences can be easily observed by comparing the two illustrations of these two plants, one by Dr. Goncalves in Aroidiana Vol. 25 of 2002 (P. stenolobum), and the other in the illustration by J. B. Hooker dating back to 1891, which Neil so very kindly posted to me. Perhaps Neil could post this wonderful illus. on to a site on one of our aroid pages, or give a link to a web page that he might create on which interested parties can view this work of art?? The drawing of the ovary in cross section is a little dim in the Hooker illustration, but Neil very kindly gave me a count of the chambers taken off of his copy, and it corresponds perfectly with the chart given by Dr. Goncalves on pg. 6 of Aroideana Vol 25, for P. williamsii the count given is "11-12 locules", the illus. by Hooker shows 12 locules! This is in contrast to only 7 - 8 locules in P. stenolobum illustrated by Dr. Goncalves on pg. 7.
Another bit of incredible good news to us fans of the Meconostigma group of Philodendrons, is that an actual plant of P. williamsii has turned up here in Florida, just a week or so ago! It is only one mature plant of an actual collection made MANY years ago in Bahia, Coastal Brazil, so I am working on getting both the collection data and a photo up SOMEWHERE so that we can all see an actual speciman of TRUE P. williamsii.
So---thanks to the efforts of several good aroid-nuts, I hope most questions regarding doubts on what is what with these two wonderful species of Philodendrons have ALL been answered!

Good Growing,


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