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Re: [Aroid-l] Aglaonmea 'Alumina'

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Aglaonmea 'Alumina'
  • From: "Bluesea" chammer@cfl.rr.com
  • Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2006 01:20:40 -0400

Eric, A. 'Alumina' is without doubt, at least in my mind, a hybrid. Roy Jervis, who wrote the 'Aglaonema Grower's Notebook' (1980), said he first noticed 'Alumina' in the collection of Barry Schwartz in Tampa in early 1980. It's unclear to me where this particular Aglaonema cultivar originated from. But in any case, shortly thereafter Roy saw the exact same silvery Aglaonema among those collected by Dr. Frank Brown in the Rizal mountains of eastern Luzon in March of 1980.

The story of the discovery of A. 'Alumina' and the many natural hybrids found with it is very interesting. These Aglaonemas originated from a natural 'hybrid swarm', which produced Aglaonemas of complex parentage, not just single chance crosses. The crosses apparently involved A. commutatum, A. philippinense, A. crispum, and A. simplex. The 'swarm' was discovered in very early 1980 by locals on Luzon who were picnicking, decided to explore the nearby jungle, and
came across this amazing group of plants. One of them apparently had some horticultural knowledge and realized the find was unusual. In short order, word of the discovery reached Dr. Brown, who was interested in hybridizing Aglaonemas, and he travelled to Luzon to collect examples from the 'swarm'. It's my understanding that Dr. Brown used some of these hybrids in his highly successful Aglaonema hybridizing program, now based in Valkaria FL, which has resulted in a great many new and beautiful easy-care Aglaonemas for growing in homes and offices worldwide.

The Luzon discovery and resulting Aglaonema hybrids are described in detail in Jervis's 'Aglaonema Grower's Notebook', which is decades out of print. I found the story fascinating, and have tried to collect some of these old Aglaonema hybrids. I'd appreciate a heads up if anyone has unusual Aglaonema cultivars to trade from this time period, such as 'Mutton-Fat Jade', 'Superba', 'Jose Rizal', or others.

Russ Hammer
Sanford/Lake Mary FL area

----- Original Message ----- From: "Eric Schmidt" <leu242@yahoo.com>
To: "Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 11:38 AM
Subject: [Aroid-l] Aglaonmea 'Alumina'

Does anyone know if Aglaonema 'Alumina' is a hybrid or
species? It is one of the hardier Aglaonemas as it
tolerates temperatures down to about freezing. The
silvery leaves brighten up a deep shady location.


Eric Schmidt
Botanic Records
Harry P. Leu Gardens
1920 N. Forest Ave.
Orlando, FL. 32803 USA
USDA Zone 9b/10a
ph. # (407)-246-3749
fax # (407)-246-2849

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