The Origin of Alocasia 'Black Velvet'


Geoffrey and All,

Alocasia 'Black Velvet' is a cultivar I named circa six years ago.  I
got it from the Lyon Arboretum, Hawaii.  I don't recall what they called
it, and I gave it what I thought to be a catchy commercial moniker.  The
Lyon purportedly received it from a collector in
Japan.  From there the origin becomes murky.  The legend I pass on is
that a Japanese orchidologist discovered the species while botanising
for orchids in Borneo.  The orchidologist either collected a single
individual or only succeeded with cultivating one individual as I have
only seen the clone A. 'Black Velvet' in collections and in tissue
culture production (http://www.agristarts.com).  The orchidologist kept
the attractive plant's origin a secret for fear of over collection, wild
population descimation, habitat destruction, etc.  There is an image of
a tetraploid clone of A. 'Black Velvet' that I selected from a tissue
culture population some years ago at
http://www.mobot.org/IAS/Hort/Tculture/abkvvt.html .  You can probably
find another yourself as the tissue culturing seems to produce many of
these.

Maybe Dr. Hay can give us a species name for this stunning Alocasia.  By
the way, it is one of many stunning Alocasia species that are described
very nicely in David Burnett's Aroideana edition Vol. 7, 3-4 "Cultivated
Alocasia", http://www.mobot.org/IAS/bk-issue.html .

Best Regards,  Scott

Scott Hyndman
Winter Park, Florida
USDA  Hardiness Zone 9a
scothynd@magicnet.net






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