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Re: Not-so-Simple Peace Lilies

  • Subject: Re: Not-so-Simple Peace Lilies
  • From: SelbyHort@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2001 22:17:18 -0500 (CDT)

Ron and Al,

I have that 1976 Selbyana article. The paper is a discussion about 
pollination of Spaths in neotropics, particularly by Euglossine bees. Some 
species of Spathiphyllum attract only one Euglossine species, others attract 
several species. There is a comparison of pollinators visiting Anthurium. 
Parallels are drawn between Euglossine pollination in orchids (esp. in 
Catasetinae and Gongoreae and others). Scents in all these various flowers 
are similar (to our noses), although this paper does not go into fragrance 
analysis. In addition, the paper discusses a couple of different theories 
about Spathiphyllum sect. Massowia in the old world and seemingly unrelated 
species in the neotropics, why did this dispersal occur in the genus? There 
is a link to Holochlamys evolution from Spathiphyllum in old world. The issue 
of fused tepals (old world sect. Massowia) vs. free tepals (most neotropical 
species) seems to suggest that the old world species are more advanced, yet 
is it possible that Spaths originated in the old world and neotropical 
members of the genus came later? If so, why do the neotropical species have 
free tepals, which are considered less advanced? I have not read lately the 
evolutionary discussion in "Genera of the Araceae" to see if any of these 
theories have been developed or thrown out, so I need to read it again. Could 
be these hypotheses are all considered bunk now. The paper presents an 
interesting speculation that diverse Spathiphyllum species evolved in the 
neotropics as adaptation to selective attraction of pollinators via slight 
changes in floral scents. Since no Euglossines occur in the old world perhaps 
this is why there are more spath species in the neotropics?

If there is enough interest in this paper perhaps we should try to get 
permission to put it online?

Donna Atwood

In a message dated 06/13/2001 11:03:21 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
roniles@eircom.net writes:

<< | Well, Ron, I didn't have a Spath but after reading your posts I bought 
 | first one I saw at my local Lowe's.  So far, I haven't enjoyed any
 | noticeable scent from it.  I'd be interested in hearing some more on the
 | range of scents, colors, sizes, etc. in the genus---the page at aroid.org
 | is interesting but somewhat silent on this.  It does note the very unusual
 | distribution of the genus which is apparently discussed in a 1976
 | article in Selbyana by Williams and Dressler not in the U. Va. library
 | How did it come to be in Middle America and New Guinea/Philippines?  I
 | go consult Deni's book...
 | Clear skies,
 | Al >>

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