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Philodendron $piritus-$ancti (a.k.a. $anta leopoldina)

  • Subject: Philodendron $piritus-$ancti (a.k.a. $anta leopoldina)
  • From: "Eduardo Goncalves" <edggon@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 10:34:54 -0600 (CST)

Dear aroider$,

    Ok, I tryied to keep myself out of this discussion, but I think I have 
some info on this species you may not know (that I only discovered after 
publishing that article). Juliusī idea is very good indeed, but I think it 
may not work properly. Roberto Kautsky, the man that discovered this species 
some time ago, has been looking for fruits in the wild for decades, and he 
couldnīt find it. He also has attempted to hand pollinate it, with no 
success. I have some information (I wonīt say who told me) that no pollen 
could be found at inflorescences during the time it was supposed to be at 
the male phase. Maybe this "species" is a degenerate natural hybrid, who 
knows! Maybe the most beautiful plants are sterile "sports". Or maybe it is 
just difficult to breed and too specialized pollinators have been destroyed 
with the forests. How much time we have?
    It seems that P. spiritus-sancti is an evolutionary dead-end. Some say 
it would be extinct soon, with or without human interference. It seems 
almost as stupid to breed as a giand panda, and it is also proportionally as 
beautiful as these amazing mammals. It is hard to wonder people saying that 
they preffer to keep their captive giant pandasī value than try to rise 
their numbers in nature. However, we really think that plants are different 
things. You will enjoy your plant during your lifetime, but there is no 
warranty that someone will take care of this after you pass away. Why not 
keep it for the next generations?  Even if it can be micropropagated, it 
will remains as a slow grower and hard-to-grow plant. It needs a warm and 
humid place all year round.
     Anyway, this discussion makes me think that I SHOULD TRY TO DO IT, so I 
will consider it more seriously. I will never spend US$ 600,00 for a single 
plant, because the same amount of money can help to save many acres of 
forests in the third world. Anyway, you better keep this plant as rare and 
expensive as you want there in the USA (or Europe). I will try to save an 
endangered species here, and it seems that clonal propagation is the only 
practical way for dealing with it. In my humble opinion, if you sell an 
endangered species for such amount of money, you are contributing to its 
extinction. What about destroying the last wild ones to rise the value of 
the captive plants? There are less than 5 specimens known in nature! Next 
time I go to Espirito Santo state, I will put price tags on the last wild 



>From: Dan Levin <levin@pixar.com>
>Reply-To: aroid-l@mobot.org
>To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
>Subject: Re: Philodendron santa leopoldina
>Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 01:02:43 -0600 (CST)
>Julius has a fine idea- absolutely worth pursuing- but it's rather time 
>by its scope and could reasonably take a decade to generate tangible 
>In the meantime John's right, we and all remaining Philo. spiritus-sancti 
>quite mortal....
>I then have to wonder if any current growers of this rare plant feel either 
>the desire
>or obligation to further insure the survival and perpetuation of P. 
>That is- beyond protecting their monetary investment and exclusive status 
>as one
>of the very few who can claim they own it.  As we all bear witness to more 
>more of our favorite plants acquiring that infamous descriptor "almost 
>in the wild", where do we as the collectors and cultivators of such 
>begin to draw that line?
>Please note this is NOT meant to incriminate or otherwise put anyone who
>owns Philo. spiritus-sancti on the firing line.  I pose this question most 
>and devoid of taking some moral high ground.  We could just as easily be 
>discussing Paphiopedilum sanderianum 'Jacob's Ladder' or < your plant here 
> >.
>Though Betsy, with all due respect to your recent expenditure and ascension
>in the P. spiritus-sancti ranks: If you're truly concerned about the fiscal 
>of our society please consider the broader benefits to be had if some kind 
>were to donate a meristem of 'spiritus-sancti' (aka "left arm") to the 
>..and all lab work, growing out & eventual sales became the domain of the 
>itself....  We might see the ensuing plants offered at a premium price to 
>general public and at a "discounted" price to active IAS members.  Bet our
>ranks and society's bank account would grow well beyond the $500 - $750
>a year that selling only a single cutting could ever generate.  Not to 
>mention the
>positive PR and attention this could garner for our cause.
>In closing I'd like to reiterate one of Julius' comments: To the true 
>TC'd plants will never be as desirable nor as valuable compared to their 
>wild-collected counterparts.
>- Dan Levin
>Piedmont, CA

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