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Re: Dieffenbachia hoffmannii photo?

  • Subject: Re: Dieffenbachia hoffmannii photo?
  • From: "Marek Argent" <abri1973@wp.pl>
  • Date: Sun, 7 Mar 2010 21:47:12 +0100

There is a wrong photo in the database:
This is Aglaonema commutatum, not Dieffenbachia.
To Anyone signed up in the MoBot: please report the error.
Marek Argent
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Dieffenbachia hoffmannii photo?

The photo in Graf's material is very similar to Dieffenbachia seguine (Jacq.) Schott.  That species has a ton of synonym names but since" hoffmanii" is not a legitimate name it isn't in the list.  As I stated earlier, Mr. Graf's books are a good photo source but Dr. Croat has pointed out in several personal conversations his photos are often improperly captioned.

I would suggest you go to the link below, check the photo, then click on "specimens" at the top of the page.  Scroll down to any that were collected by Dr. Croat, scroll over to the right of the page and click on his collection number.  There you will find where he collected it along with his field notes.  Frequently there is enough material there to make a good ID of a plant, just read as many of Tom's notes as possible.


However, like all aroids this species can be variable.  If you click on the synonyms on the first page you'll find a long list of additional names (now invalid) granted to this species.  My guess is you likely have a synonym of this species.  Although your plant is far too old to be one of the recent tissue cultures there are many variations being created in tissue culture of this species that can be bought at many stores

I believe the species is in Dr. Croat's Revision of Dieffenbachia (Araceae) of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies but I don't have a copy.   If you have access to JSTOR I suggest you check out that source.

For those on Aroid l not familiar with natural variability this link may be useful.  The article addresses why many of us have trouble learning what species we are growing.  I recently rewrote the entire page and added a bunch of photos to illustrate how extreme variability can be in aroid species.  I've already asked several well known aroiders to read the info and so far only one objection has come back to one particular section.  I addressed that and feel relatively confident the material is scientifically accurate. 

If any of you with a strong background in botany find an error I will quickly address the problem:  http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Natural%20variation%20within%20aroid%20and%20%20plant%20species.html



On 3/2/2010 08:10, Carol McCarthy wrote:
Hello Steve, John, Conrad and anyone else reading along,
     I checked my database yesterday, I got the name from the same source John quotes; A.B. Graph's Exotica; page 172 of Edition 9 to be more exact.  I will also note that the plant has been in one of two university greenhouse here at WVU for at least 15 years.  From what I know of the collections, I do not believe that this material was collected straight from habitat even back then.  Whether it was bought, traded for or a gift I do not have any records to enlighten me.  The two professors who might know are both long retired.
     We have been doing an inventory update of the greenhouse collections and working on correcting and updating questionable names along the way.  I guess for now, this one will stay questionable.
     This Dieffenbachia grows very slowly and has a different, deeper green than most.  As the picture John attached shows a little, the petioles show stripes and or dots of lighter colors on the deep green ground color.  Currently the plant is at another greenhouse across campus, I will try to get a picture of this plant, whatever it is, in the near future and post it.  Since we have established that D. hoffmannii is not a valid name does anyone have any suggestions as to a correct identity?
     Thanks to a great group for any help at all.
Carol McCarthy
Greenhouse Manager
Biology Department
West Virginia University
PO Box 6057
53 Campus Drive
Morgantown, WV 26506
304-293-5201 ext 31477

>>> "John" <criswick@spiceisle.com> 3/1/2010 2:19 PM >>>

I cannot give a source for the name Dieffenbachia hoffmannii but I have in the 60s and 70s grown this Dieffenbachia, in fact it was a favourite of mine.  The name is no longer valid, if it ever was, but D. ÃâËExoticaÃââ or ÃâËarvidaÃââ may be a mutation of it, whatever it is.  Both are said by Graf to be from Costa Rica.

The accompanying illustration may perhaps answer questions about markings on stem and petiole.


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