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Anthurium unknown! - banta

This would be a good time to remind everyone every issue and article ever published in over 30 years of the IAS journal Aroideana is available on line to be downloaded in PDF format.  Since I mentioned John Banta's article in a couple of previous posts I thought it might be wise to allow everyone to read it including the photos that accompanied the article in 1983.  Short articles can be downloaded for free by member but there is a small charge for longer ones.  This article appeared in Vol. 6, #1.

You can find any article by doing a subject search in the lower left corner of the homepage at www.Aroid.org.



What's in a Name?

John Banta, River Haven Nursery, Route 2, Box 144, Alva, Florida 33920


I guess I ought to start with my first exposure to Anthurium breeding. A "plant nut" friend invited me to go along and visit Bob McColley at Bamboo Nurseries, Orlando, Florida. When we arrived, the acres of outstanding philodendrons overwhelmed me. The exuberance of the plants was matched equally by Bob McColley as lie enthusiastically discussed details of his current plant breeding activities. Philodendrons were his forte. His horticultural efforts have produced many of the attractive philodendrons

so widely used indoors today. In spite of being surrounded by philodendrons with parents like: P.andreanum and P. verrucosum I was attracted to an anthurium. Its unusual leaf shape was enhanced by an equally unusual olive-green color. Upon enquiry, Bob McColley explained how the hybrid between A . berriozabelense and A. clarinervium had been made. I didn't know it at the time, but Bob McColley had planted another seed. The idea of hybrids among the anthuriums piqued my curiosity.


With so many new species being added to living collections, in addition to many of the older species being reintroduced, the available genetic diversity of the genus was tantalizing. One could not but wonder what the primary hybrids would look like, much less, dream of the arrays of new forms emerging from future recombinations. I began to search for information on Anthurium hybrids. A sprinkle of named hybrids turned into a deluge with a copy of Das Pflanzenreich. The list quickly grew to include

hybrids like A. atropurpureum which is A. andreanum crossed onto the hybrid chantrieri originating from A.subsignatum crossed onto A. nymphaeifolium.


These hybrids are historical. What about the remarkable contemporary Anthurium breeding in Hawaii and other tropical areas? Delightful new hybrid plants are certain to grace our collections. These new plants will need names. Could numbers ever replace names even in the computer age?


Plant breeders often assign a name to a particular plant due to the requirements of record keeping. For instance, a hybrid between A.forgetii and A. magnificum might become "magetii" in the breeder's stud book. A name derived by a contraction of the parent's names often helps to remind growers of its origin. I wonder how Bob McColley referred to his hybrids? What is that hybrid going to be named and who shall decide?


Where are the people who care about "what's in a name?"

fn:Steve  Lucas

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