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Re: Araceae

Dear Tom,
Was answering your query about Rupert Seemungal when I
touched something on my computer in error and it cut
me off the internet. So I reconnected and couldnt find
your original message. So here goes. Once more into
the breach.
I was the cutator of the Emperor Valley Zoo in Port of
Spain Trinidad and Tobago for 25 years and have
recently retired.
Julius has often talked of you, and I have just
returned from a magical ten days of a reunion with him
and our old friend Joep Moonen in Cayenne.
Rupert Seemungal was the brother of the brilliant
Lionel Augustine Seemungal, a dear and old friend, who
sadly is ina decline due to possibly Alseimers
Rupert was always thought of as some sort of eccentric
nut, and eventually went to New York City to work in a
bookstore to be near to the opera, of  which he was
some sort of expert. He disappeared one winter and we
heard that he was found frozen in a drift when the
thaw set in, but that may be just another story. In
any case I believe he m,ust be dead.
Maybe one day you can visit Trinidad and we will meet.
I'll look forward to that.


--- "Dr. Tom Croat" <tcroat@LEHMANN.MOBOT.ORG> wrote:
> Chris:
> 	It heats up through a process called
> "thermogenesis" which is
> triggered by acetosalycitic acid.  It may generate
> so much heat as to be
> 30 above air temperature and its purpose, so far as
> is known, is to
> generate volatile compounds which in turn attract
> insects.   In most
> genera, including the Monstera you saw, this happens
> at dusk at which
> time the large scarab beetle pollinators are
> actively flying.   These
> beetles visit the inflorescences of aroids to
> aggregate, have sex and eat
> edible but unessential parts of the inflorescence
> (in the case of
> Philodendron this is the sterile male flowers which
> contain nutrient-rich
> lipids.  The heat peak is timed precisely for this
> activity and may occur
> on the following evening as well when the stamens
> are opening and they
> are leaving, getting themselves covered with pollen
> in the process of
> their departure.   For the beetles it is just one
> long orgy!
> 	Tom Croat
> On 22 May 00, at 11:47, Chris Tyrell wrote:
> Date sent:      	Mon, 22 May 2000 11:47:00 -0800
> Subject:        	Araceae
> From:           	Chris Tyrell <ctyrell@home.com>
> To:             	<thomas.croat@mobot.org>
> Copies to:      	Dwight Koss
> <dkoss@vanartgallery.bc.ca>
> Hello Mr. Croat,
> I got your name from the staff of the LA County
> Arboretum to whom I had
> posed a question. I am not a knowledgeable plant
> person, I am a lay admirer
> of the floral world, that's all. I love to go to
> gardens.
> While in LA, behind a friend's hotel, I saw a huge
> split-leaf philadendron
> (monstrosa?) which had numerous "pods" with points
> at the top of a growing
> shoot. Our of one protruded a long, white, smooth
> and fleshy thing - a huge
> vcersion of that thing that sticks out of antheriums
> (?). Happily, I was
> motivated to touch it, and to my amazement it was
> HOT!!!
> The staff at the arboretum told me I might be able
> to find out from you how
> that plant produces the heat and why. Is there
> something a lay person could
> read about heat production in arcacaea?
> Chris Tyrell

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