Re: The Origin of Alocasia 'Black Velvet'


     I have been curious about Alocasia `Black Velvet' for some time: in 
     fact it is one of the things I was hoping someone might be able to 
     send me a preserved specimen (even a leaf) of, so that I could put a 
     species name to it.
     
     The name does not appear in the index of Burnett's account: have I 
     missed something?
     
     Alistair Hay
     alistair@rbgsyd.gov.au


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: The Origin of Alocasia 'Black Velvet'
Author:  <aroid-l@mobot.org> at mailgate
Date:    7/6/98 8:05 AM


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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