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Re: [Aroid-l] Leaf fertilization - A.titanum 'ghost'

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Leaf fertilization - A.titanum 'ghost'
  • From: Steve Marak samarak@gizmoworks.com
  • Date: Sun, 12 Jun 2005 16:50:53 -0500 (CDT)

My limited experience is also with other genera, and is exactly as George
described - 1 or perhaps 2 seasons of decline and then disappearance. My very
unscientific impression is that this happens more often with selfings, which
would be completely unsurprising to me but is certainly not required. A batch
of hemerocallis seeds sent to me long ago by Phil Mueller germinated almost 40%
"albinos", the highest percentage I've ever seen. I had one variegated
hemerocallis which developed the habit of putting up some completely white
fans and some which displayed the "normal" variegation. I hoped this would
enable it to grow very slowly and still look spectacular, and it did survive
for 5 or 6 years, but it hasn't appeared this year and I fear the worst.

The cactus & succulent people graft non-chlorophyllous plants, as David
suggested, and now have quite a stable of them (which people seem to love or
hate). In your case, as the leaf is transient, you'd actually probably want to
graft a leaf with chlorophyll onto the stem to provide the tuber with food.  
Not only do I have no idea how you'd do this with just a leaf - is it even
possible? - it would obviously not preserve the unusual appearance, and what 
leaf would you use?

I have a desultory interest in this, enough to make me search the web
occasionally and watch the mailing lists in case someone comes up with an easy
way to keep these plants alive, but not enough to make me get out the big guns
and try things myself. They seem to fascinate a lot of us, and there's been
discussion on several lists about possible approaches - I seem to recall a
particularly long-running discussion on the clivia list, and you might search
those archives to see if anyone came up with an answer.

Good luck, and please let us know if you are able to keep it going.


On Sun, 12 Jun 2005, W. George Schmid wrote:

> Hi, The phenomenon of white plant tissue also occurs in other genera. In my
> experience with hostas, completely white plants (as your A. titanum) may
> survive one season but the lack of chlorophyll results in the hosta rhizome
> (or the A. tuber) not being able to store sufficient sugars for the next
> year's growth. As a consequence, the plants will decline and no longer be
> viable after a season or two or three. Usually, some hostas fight this
> condition and become viridescent, i.e., the leaves turn partially or all the
> way green later in the season (the time frame when sugars are stored in
> hostas) to make up for this lack of chlorophyll. In other cases the white
> leaves collapse and rot away and are replaced with green leaves. Some of
> these plants recover and live on by making the white-phase a temporary
> condition. I have a variegated Acer negundo that routinely sends out
> branches with all-white leaves. None of these branches has survived more
> than three seasons, unless they become viridescent, which happens
> occasionally. I have a large collection or amorphs and arisaemas, but have
> not experienced white forms so cannot comment on these aroids in particular.
> I would guess that large tubers with a large stored-up food supply may be
> able to survive for a time. Judging by my experience with other genera, the
> white form is either a lethal condition or will not survive in the long run.
> It would be interesting to see if this plant has enough food reserves to
> make an inflorescence. HTH, George
> W. George Schmid
> Hosta Hill - Tucker Georgia USA
> Zone 7a - 1188 feet AMSL
> 84-12'-30" West_33-51' North
> Outgoing e-mail virus checked by NAV
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "David S." <maui4me@charter.net>
> To: "Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
> Sent: Sunday, June 12, 2005 02:08
> Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Leaf fertilization - A.titanum 'ghost'
> > I see no evidence of chlorophyll.  I don't know how it could survive very
> > long without it unless grafted like some cacti are, but then what could you
> > graft it on to?
> >
> > David S.

-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@gizmoworks.com
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