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Re: Amorphophallus ebay

  • Subject: Re: Amorphophallus ebay
  • From: "mossytrail" <mossytrail@hctc.com>
  • Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2008 15:55:25 -0800

> While Amorphophallus may be common to us Aroidphiles, they
> aren't common to the average home gardener.  If they
> were, Plant Delights wouldn't be getting the prices they
> ask (no offence, Tony), and we wouldn't be getting the
> "how do I grow" and "what do I do with" questions that we
> get here on Aroid-L.  Probably wouldn't have much of
> a IAS, either, if they were all common as weeds.
That's a good point.  On Aroid-L, Amorphophallus looks like
the most common aroid genus in cultivation, if we were to
judge by the number of posts we get about it relative to
other genera.  No offense, but the sheer number of Amorph
posts I see here has caused me to become completely
uninterested in the genus.  Unless of course I can find A.
smithsonianus :)

But leave Aroid-L and look at what is actually out there in
people's homes, and Amorphs are few and far between. 
Mostly, you see Monstera deliciosa, Dieffenbachia,
Scindapsus aureus, Philodendron, and Algaonema.  None of
which genera see much discussion at all on Aroid-L.
> People always seem to buy first and find information about
> the plant second.  Those of you that help out on the
> forums know what I mean.   Brian Williams and
> LariAnn are always answering questions.  I often
> wonder why people buy expensive plants and then try to
> find out about them, or blame the seller when they kill
> the plant through miss-care.  Often they don't even
> listen to advice but try to push growth through a dormant
> phase. Oh, just don't even get me started!  Look at
> Erin, here- has bought many titanums and other Amorphs and
> then asks for growing advice- no offense Erin, at least
> you ask for help!
Because people don't think of plants as biological organisms
with specific needs.  People buy plants as ornamental
objects, and expect them to act like artworks or pieces of
furniture.  Or, if they do think of plants as alive, they
think in terms of the goldfish in the aquarium in the family
room -- a fairly tolerant and hardy creature which can
survive under less-than-exactling care, thus allowing
minimal disruption of household life and routine.

The beauty of a plant attracts; but then when they find out
how specific its needs are, they realize too late they've
bitten off more than they could chew.  So they fall back on
generalized houseplant advice and hope for the best -- what
works for ficus trees and philodendrons should work for all
houseplants, right?

I saved myself a heartache once by asking before buying.  It
was a vanilla orchid, and it's a good thing I asked -- I was
told they need to be misted every day, and that they can
grow up a tree in a single season.  Obviously would not have
worked in my small apartment, especially with the line of
work I was in then, not always coming home every night.  If
I had bought first, asking advice would have done no good --
I would not have been able to follow it.
> Back to the "RARE" Aroids, it's true- I've never seen a
> Amorph listed on  AU-ebay that isn't rare- and
> they're usually bulbifer or konjac, or listed as riverii,
> which sounds new and different (snort).  HOWEVER-
> when I'm in the mood for a new type of plant, I often do a
> search for "rare" in the plant section of ebay, and while
> a great deal of the selections are laughable, occasionally
> I do find something interesting that I want to learn more
> about. So, it really doesn't bother me when an Aroid is
> labeled rare.
Rare is relative anyway.  But I do object to mis-labeling of
plants (riverii?).

Jason Hernandez
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