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Re: [aroid-l] Rare Chinese Aroid

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Rare Chinese Aroid
  • From: "Peter Boyce" boyce@pothos.demon.co.uk
  • Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 12:35:03 +0200

Hi Leslie

My id on the giant arrow leaf as A.macrorrhizos is based on the picture on the NatureProducts website which indubitably shows A. macrorrhizos. Of course, the question as to whether this photograph is really what they are selling as 'H. gigantea' is moot since I have to say that other identifications on the site are pretty bad - in fact almost everything apart from the Musella is wrongly identified!

The giant arrow leaf might possibly be Colocasia gigantea (which is common in SW China. N. Vietnam, N. Laos, etc.). If it is C. gigantea then the give away will be that the leaves and leaf stalks are striking waxy pale blue-grey and when you cut the tissue the cut surface very quickly turns a rich orange colour. The very distinctive leaf colour is something that I am sure NatureProducts would have commented on if this were what they are selling. Other possibilities are A. navicularis and A. odora which are both common species in the region and both quite capable of reaching 2 or more metres tall in good growing conditions.

How large are the plants in your two batches of seedlings? With a few exceptions Alocasia are hard to differentiate for the first few months after germination although if they are growing fast (in Borneo A. macrorrizos attains a meter in height in less than 5 months from germination) some are tentatively identifiable with some confidence after then. Once you think that your plants look distinct from one another, why not drop me a couple of pictures by email and I'll try to name them.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Leslie Georgeson 
  To: Peter Boyce 
  Sent: Monday, June 02, 2003 4:12 PM
  Subject: Re: Rare Chinese Aroid

  Yes, I purchased the seeds from Nature Products, one packet of A. macrorrhiza and one of Homalomena gigantea.  Is it possible that the H. gigantea is actually Colocasia gigantea?  I'm still new with aroids, so I've been researching to find out exactly what the "giant arrow leaf" actually is.  I believe you said it was probably a type of Alocasia. 


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