Re: "Elephant Ear"???
- Subject: Re: "Elephant Ear"???
- From: "Harry Luther" <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 18:56:46 -0400
Title: Re: [Aroid-l] "Elephant Ear"???
Regarding Colocasia esculenta, remember you are dealing with a cultigen
here, maybe undomesticated populations as well. These are under great
selection pressure and may not behave as "regular
The problem of how "elephant ears" are labeled would be
hard to pin on any one source without a doubt. When I look at the information
that has come in to Steve about Colocasia esculenta over the past few days,
(and granted I have not seen it all), it would seem that this is as wide open
a species concept as I've come across in the plant world, as far as I can
think this time of day off the top of my head. When you think about it, in
other genera within our own family here (speaking of Araceae of course), the
size or texture of a leaf blade, appearance of the venation, or cross-section
of petiole showing different shapes can make the difference between species.
But if my understanding is correct here, this species concept is plastic
enough that leaf size, surface, appearance of venation, (i.e. raised and
rounded or angled, or flat), petiole appearance, position of inflorescence,
shape, size, color of inflorescence, and of course habitat and resulting
vegetative growth, and likely pollinator differences as well between habitat
extremes of wet and dry - none of these things matter with this species. A
most interesting dilemma - it is no wonder that it has so many synonyms, both
scientific and common. When all the usual species defining characteristics are
thrown out, where do we go? With such incredibly wide degrees of variation,
whether one is using the common name or the botanical, another could still
have no earthly idea of the image of plant being discussed. An
interesting dilemma indeed.
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