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RE: Tacca questions (off topic??)

  • Subject: RE: Tacca questions (off topic??)
  • From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" <hetter@worldonline.nl>
  • Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 13:50:48 -0500 (CDT)

Tacca plantaginea is a small version of, say Tacca chantrieri but it has
less dramatically coloured inflorescences. They are basically a pale
greenish. There is a fair plant growing in Leiden, kept warm and humid
indeed. That's all I can say of this species. Oh, yes, it used to be
separated from Tacca in the genus Schizocapsa but that is no longer

Tacca: The Dutch botanist Rumphius presented Tacca sativa and Tacca
phallifera in 1747. Tacca sativa was presented as a plate with only a leaf
but the description clearly indicates this is Am. paeoniifolius. Rumphius
never saw the inflorescence of this but he describes that if the plant is
left alone in a garden it will produce fruits on a long stalk. Tacca
phallifera is a plate in which both a REAL Tacca is seen (T.
leontopetaloides, incl. an inflorescence) and an isolated inflorescence of
Am. paeoniifolius. Rumphius says the plant was brought from the mountains
and first produces a "fungus" (= the paeoniifolius inflorescence) and later
it produces the "Tacca" (the leaf). The whole affair is strange as the
description of Tacca phallifera is all about A. paeoniifolius whereas the
drawing clearly shows the mix with T. leontopetaloides.

Generally the reason why present-day Tacca and Amorphs have been associated
is the general similarity of the leaf of the weedy Tacca leontopetaloides
with Amorphophallus. The people on Ambon (the island where Rumphius resided
and where he wrote his "Herbarium Amboinensis" books) called these
umbrella-like leaves generically "Tacca". So that's why Rumphius also used
that word, which later became the name of the genus Tacca and which was
restricted by botanists to include only the real Tacca species as we know
them today. The confusion thus was created by the coincidence that Tacca
leontopetaloides was growing on an island together with Am. paeoniifolius
and both have similar leaves.

Thus endeth this sunday lecture for all you to enjoy (or delete..........).

Lord P.

> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
> Van: aroid-l@mobot.org [mailto:aroid-l@mobot.org]Namens
> Randall M. Story
> Verzonden: vrijdag 24 mei 2002 21:26
> Aan: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L
> Onderwerp: Tacca questions (off topic??)
> Hi,
> I'm looking for information about Tacca plantaginea (Schizocapsa
> plantaginea?).  I get the impression that Tacca used to be
> considered an
> Aroid, but not anymore (please correct me if I am wrong).
> Anyway, I picked
> up a small seedling of this plant (~3 inch diameter) at last weekend's
> Huntington Botanical Garden (near Los Angeles) plant sale.  I
> have been able
> to find little information about this species and I am
> curious:  How do I
> grow it? (warm and humid? light level?).  Does it look like
> other Taccas
> (i.e. chantrieri).  How long will it take my little plant to
> reach blooming
> size?
> It sounds like the history of the classification of this
> genus is quite
> interesting.  I read that at least one species used to be
> considered closely
> related to Amorphophallus (e.g. Dewey Fisk's site)!
> Thanks
> Randy
> Pasadena, California (USDA zone 10/Sunset zone 21, 2 miles from the
> Huntington)

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