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Re: Anthurium ID

For those that would like to read it, here is Dr. Croat's article from Aroideana Volume 6, number four on Anthurium leuconeurum.  Like many short articles this one can be downloaded for free from www.Aroid.org.  Just do a search on the search engine on the lower left of the homepage.  There is a slight charge for larger articles.

Aroideana is an extremely valuable source of good information for any grower.  If you are an IAS member you will receive a copy of the annual issue every summer.  Those of us that enjoy knowing the facts about our plants often cherish the library of issues we have managed to acquire but even if you don't have all of them in print you can still read them on the IAS site.  If you haven't joined yet, I promise you will get your money's worth!


1983  AROIDEANA  Volume 6, number 4, page 133



The Origin of Anthurium leuconeurum

Dr. Thomas B. Croat

Missouri Botanical Garden

P. O. Box 299

St. Louis, Missouri 63166



The name Anthurium leuconeurumhas been in use by horticulturists since 1862 when a plant, believed to have been collected in southern Mexico by Auguste Boniface Ghiesbrecht, was described by the French botanist

Charles Lemaire. The plant apparently flourished in European botanical garden hothouse collections for a period of about seven decades. A number of herbarium collections were prepared and placed in herbaria at Kew Gardens, Geneva, Paris and elsewhere; most of these collections were made before 1895. The last such herbarium collection I've seen was prepared in 1935 at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, by L. W. Carrisso and deposited at the Kew Herbarium. It is important to note that either Ghiesbrecht prepared no voucher in the field or if he did it has not survived.

Certainly when A. leuconeurum was described in 1862 no mention was made of any herbarium collection and a painting published at that time (Plate 314 in Vol. 9 of L'illustration Horticole, 1862) serves as the type. In addition, no collections have been made of the plant since the time of Ghiesbrecht, despite more than a century of collecting by many botanists

in southern Mexico. (I, myself, have made trips to many parts of southern Mexico in search of it.)


For some of our readers perhaps the first introduction to this name was in the first issue of Aroideana (Vol. 1,

No.1) when Madison, in an article entitled "The Anthurium leuconeurum confusion;' introduced the name as synonymous with A. clarinervium Matuda, another distinctly different species also restricted to southern Mexico. That A. clarinervium and A. leuconeurum are distinct can be seen from a reproduction of Lemaire's Plate (Fig. 1; see also cover of Aroideana, Vol. 5, No.3) and a photograph of A. clarinervium in its native habitat in Chiapas (Fig. 2). The chief differences are the more open sinus and a fusion of the basal veins in A. leuconeurum and a closed sinus and free basal veins in A. clarinervium. In addition, the midrib and primary lateral veins in A. clarinervium are distinctly paler than the surface; this distinction, although present, is not as sharp in A. leuconeurum.


During my trips to European plant collections I was surprised not to find any live material of A. leuconeurum and concluded that it must have been obliterated during the destructive period of World War II. It was not until I visited Australia in 1981 that I came across collections of plants I was reasonably certain were A. leuconeurum. In Australia they were called A. cordatum, Fig. 3 a species which is also illustrated in Exotica III, p. 133. This photo represents a plant that, despite slightly more spreading posterior lobes, compares relatively well with the type plate (Fig. 1) of A. leuconeurum.


 The really interesting thing about this discourse is that A. leuconeurum is almost certainly of hybrid origin which explains why it has never been recollected. What brought this to my attention was the article by Banta (1983) in a recent issue of Aroideana. The article described a cross between A. clarinervium Matuda (Fig. 2) and A. berriozabalense Matuda (Fig. 4) that he repeateerafter first seeing similar results conducted by Bob McColley of Bamboo Nursery. The hybrid, illustrated in Figure 3 of Banta's paper is, I believe, a close match for the type figure for A. leuconeurum (Fig. 1). Both of the parent plants are native to

northern Chiapas State in Mexico and both have been collected, for example, north of the town of Berriozabal.  That A. ciarinervium is a species capable of hybridizing in the wild is documented by the fact that I have seen hybrids of it with A. pedaloradiatum Schott in the same region. John Banta (personal communication) reports that A. berriozabalense will also readily hybridize with A. pedatoradiatum; this is further confirmed by Dr. Richard Sheffer's observations (Croat

& Sheffer, 1983) that members of Anthurium section Cardiolonchium may hybridize with members of section Schizoplacium.


The article by John Banta which has led to the conclusion that A. Fig. 3. Anthurium "cordatum," cultivated in Australia (Fleetwood Nursery). leuconeurum is probably of hybrid origin is an example of how important it is for horticulturists to make accurate records of their crosses and to publish similar articles.


Literature Cited

Banta, J., 1983. What's in a Name? Aroideana 6(1):26-27.

Croat, T. B. & R. D. Sheffer, 1983. The sectional groupings of Anlhurium

(Araceae), Aroideana 6(3):85-123. Madison, M., 1978.

The Anthurium leuconeurum confusion, Aroideana1 (1): 17-19.

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