Re: Drac.soconuscum

-----Original Message-----
From: Don Burns <>
To: <>
Date: Saturday, July 04, 1998 5:29 PM
Subject: Drac.soconuscum

>>I recently acquired a D. soconuscum tuber from Dewey Fisk. A petiole and
leaf has emerged and I have discovered a very interesting and unusual plant.
It has a very deep green (almost black) petiole. The petiole is rough to
the touch and has cream colored marks running its entire length.  The
leaf is also most interesting, a beautiful deep green and very shiny.
The leaflet margins seem to be lined with black. When the leaf was unfurling
the visible parts of it were almost black also.

The petiole on this plant measures about 50 cm and is growing not
straight but in a "meandering" vertical direction.

Can someone tell me how large this plant becomes and if it retains the
above characteristics when it is at its largest? The inflorescence must
be quite interesting also. Unfortunately I can not find any photos in the
literature. The "Genera of Araceae" has only line drawings of flower parts.


Dear Don,
 I believe that this plant was originally collected in Panama, but can not
at the moment remember it`s collectors name. The species ranges from Chaipas
in Mexico To Central America.   D. dressleri Croat (from Panama) is a
synonyn.  There is a similar species found in Venezuela which used to be
called D. changuango; it has a spathe with a matt or chaffy interior.  It
has just been synonomysed with D. dubium, an old name, and the second
species of Dracontium discribed, which has a spathe with a shiny or smooth
interior  (See Novon, Vol. 8, Number 1, 1998, 101-103.  "Identity and
Typification of Dracontium dubium Kunth (Araceae)" by Dr. Guanghua Zhu,
Julius Boos and Dr. Thomas Croat. )  Your plant used to be grown on the lawn
in front of Jerry Horn`s home in Miami for several years, and in full sun
the plant, especially it`s petioles, were a brick-red color!  It will grow
to about 4 feet, and the infloresence is small (3"?), just above
ground-level with no visible peduncle, and widely hooded in shape.  It
sometimes has one or more sterile projections on the top of the spadix.  It
should have a straight, upright petiole when grown in enough light.
Good growing, and I hope that this helps.

>>Don Burns   Plantation, FL USA   Zone 10b<<

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