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Re: Philodendron santa leopoldina

  • Subject: Re: Philodendron santa leopoldina
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@email.msn.com>
  • Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 21:27:18 -0600 (CST)

----- Original Message -----
From: john s. smolowe
Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2001 3:51 PM
Subject: Philodendron santa leopoldina

Dear John,
We think ALMOST alike on this, BUT I`d like you to consider the following first---the few people who have the $$ to have afforded to purchase a plant of this most wonderful Philodendron species certainly do NOT want it to become a K-Mart plant out of tissue culture at $5.00 a 'pop', so I am presently working on a plan which may just allow this plant to preserve it`s status AND monetary worth, and also increase it`s genitic variability in collections--hear me out.
   I propose that we contact the people who DO own plants of this now almost extinct Philodendron and ask them to 'lend' their plant or a cutting of it on 'breeding loan' to a central grower with experience in hand-pollenating this genus.  He or she will fertilize and grow these plants so as that they are brought to bloom, then hand-pollenate them, and so obtain seed which can be grown to adult size in about three years (?).   These new plants can be expected to show some genitic variability, some may be as beautiful in form and leaf texture to their parents, some less attractive, while some may be even MORE beautiful that the parent plants!   Owner gets 'first choice' of the offspring!!  These can be labled as seed-grown and will certainly remain as very valuable plants, and maybe THEN a tissue-cultured set can be made, these may not turn out to be as beautiful as or ever have the value of a wild-collected or 'from-seed' plant.
Perhaps in the future some seed can be donated to a person in Brazil where they can be grown and then re-introduced back into the wild??  
 I am working on contacting some of the owners of these few plants that I am aware of and see what their response to this idea may be, or perhaps those of you who do own a plant of this and read this note can let me know your thoughts??   I`d love to steart a 'stud-book' of all the wild-collected plants here in the U.S.A. with notes on each, tracing it`s lineage as to if it is an originally wild-collected plant from Brazil or a cutting of one, the owner`s name, location, etc.
P.S.   I am the auctioneer who auctioned off the plants of this species at shows in Miami beginning with the wild-collected plants donated to the IAS by the late Betty Waterbury---my article on the last show and auction which took place last Sept. at Fairchild in Miami will be appearing in the next Aroid Newsletter, the one plant available at this past show went for over U.S.$600.00 at auction.
Julius Boos.
 >>In his recent Aroidiana article on Philodendron spiritus-sancti, aka Philodendron santa leopoldina (the rare, desirable variety) Eduardo Goncalves suggests the species be made widely available by micropropagation. I emailed him and he wrote back:

"I am just aware that there are no more
than 5 known plants of P. spiritus-sancti in the wild. It can be considered
almost extinct in the wild. I would love to see it being micropropagated,
because it will remain as an amazing plant, even if it was being sold at
K-Mart! Unfortunately, I do not have the facilities here, and I also do not
have a living plant of it myself. That collected plant were donated to a
private conservatory that has the proper infra-structure to grow it. Well, I think there are
more plants of P. spiritus-sancti in the US than in Brazil (even considering
the wild specimens!)."

I'd be interested in contributing to a fund to make that happen. Does anyone know the practical details? I suppose we'd have to find and deal with an appropriate lab, and also find a willing owner of the correct plant.

John Smolowe
Menlo Park, CA

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