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Raphidophora vs. Monstera - or maybe neither?

I have been having trouble posting to the aroid list for the last few days
- the following was posted for me by Jack last night, but I'm reposting it
as part of a test to see if the listserve will accept my posts now.  If you
didn't see what follows when Jack posted it, it is worth looking at. Thanks


At 12:18 PM -0500 6/10/00, Julius Boos wrote:

>Dear Jack,
>Many 'vining' Aroids do this, Philodendron, Monstera and Raphidophora come
>to mind, it is a response to the growing conditions, and is a 'juvinile'
>form of the plant which does and will change to one with 'normal' leaves
>once it encounters different/'better' conditions higher up the tree, rock
>face, or in the case of Fairchild Gardens, the wall!
>Good luck in your quest!

Julius, Jack, et al.,

This is a most interesting plant growing at Fairchild.  The difficulty
regarding the 'juvinile' vs. 'normal' leaf type for this species is what
can one mean by juvinile?  The reason I ask this is that this plant blooms
underneath those shield-like leaves, and has been doing so for years.
Craig Allen was generous enough to let me have a piece when I was at UNC
Charlotte, to grow there, and pointed out this phenomenon.  He said, if I
remember correctly, that it was labeled Raphidophora because they didn't
know what else to label it.  However, the inflorescences are small, not
protruding from underneath the appressed shingle leaves - you don't know
it's blooming unless you a.) prune it back, or b.) grow it on glass and
look at it from the back side!  It does certainly look like the
silver-white veined plant that Geoffrey Kibby put on his website (Hello
Geoffrey!)  I am by no means an expert on Araceae - however, I would
venture to say that the shingles leaves here are the mature leaves, and
that this does not fit into any standard understanding of any of the genera
in the tribe Monstereae.  Regarding the idea of mature leaves, a healthy
plant in good light will have leaves slightly overlapping - same plant goes
to low light or falls from support, internodal growth stretches out and
leaves can be greatly reduced.  Improve conditions, leaves will go to
previous description - i.e. always shingle type leaves, including after
blooming has commenced, as stated above.  Regarding not in any genera in
Monstereae, this is simply based on a quick glance through of illustrations
in _The Genera of Araceae, and a scanning of descriptions.

Would be most interested in hearing opinions advanced.  Good Growing.


Jonathan Ertelt
Greenhouse Manager
Vanderbilt University Biology Department
Box 1812, Sta. B
Nashville, TN  37235
(615) 322-4054

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