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[Aroid-l] Homalomena seeds needed for research

  • Subject: [Aroid-l] Homalomena seeds needed for research
  • From: Peter Matthews pjm@gol.com
  • Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 11:51:12 +0900

Dear Aroid L subscribers,

I am an ethnobotanist specialising in the history of Colocasia esculenta (taro).

With a group of archaeologists, I am trying to identify some very old archaeological specimens of what may be taro seeds.

The mystery seeds were found in sediments of the Kuk agricultural swamp site, and are several thousand years old.

Our problem is that taro seeds look very similar to the seeds of Homalomena - but so far we have not been able to obtain any Homalomena seeds for comparison.

Because the seeds are very small, we are using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to look at the details of the seed coat.

Of special interest would be the seeds of New Guinean species (e.g. H. aromatica, H. novoguinensis), but samples from any other species would also be useful.

Also needed are seeds that range from immature to mature. It does not matter if they are old seeds that are dried up and no longer viable, and they can be attached to a fruit or not.

If any aroid enthusiasts can offer such seeds, for research purposes, I can offer (1) a set of reprints on the history of (Colocasia esculenta) taro, and/or (2) mailing costs.

Commercial sources of such seeds are also of interest, if any exist.

Any help with this research will be acknowledged in subsequent publication of our findings.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Matthews (Dr)
National Museum of Ethnology
Senri Expo Park, Suita City
Osaka 565-8511, Japan
Tel. +81 6 6876-2151 (museum)
Tel. +81 6 6876-8357 (Peter's office)
Fax +81 6 6878-7503 (museum)
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