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

  • Subject: Re: Philodendron $piritus-$ancti (a.k.a. $anta leopoldina)
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@email.msn.com>
  • Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2001 10:21:27 -0600 (CST)


----- Original Message -----
From: Eduardo Goncalves <edggon@hotmail.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 11:34 AM
Subject: Philodendron $piritus-$ancti (a.k.a. $anta leopoldina)


>>Dear aroider$,<<

My Dear Friend Eduardo and all my 'Aroider Friend$',

Thank you Eduardo and all others for your most valuable input to this
interesting discussion.   I will
comment on your letter point by point below each paragraph, and will also
forward to the list another letter I wrote in answer to a friend explaining
in a simple way my thoughts on obtaining seed from a genetically 'poor'
group of few plants, and how this just MIGHT work.

   >> 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?<<

I still tend to doubt that a plant/species can, and DOES still exist in the
very few small, still-natural
remenants of the rain forest which are now more or less 'gone' by man`s
development in
this area would NOT produce pollen, or IF pollenated correctly would NOT
produce seed.   (Contrary to a posting this morning, this plant DOES still
exist and can be seen growing in the 'wild')  As an example, I could not get
Caladium bicolor to set seed until shown that the female anthesis takes
place at LEAST two days BEFORE the spathe begins to open, if one waits till
the spathe is 'cracked' open, which is when one would ASSUME would be the
correct time of female anthesis and to pollenate,TOO LATE!   Another aspect
is that the original pollenator may be long gone with the original forests,
it in all probability was a species of scarab beetle, as most other
Philodendron sps. are pollenated by this group of insects, and scarabs need
a BIG surrounding eco-system to exist, this system we KNOW has been almost
destroyed in the area of the plant in question.
Contrary to a posting this morning, loss of habitat DOES lead to extinction,
the coastal forests of E. Brazil are ALMOST gone, and have led to the
extinction and near-extinction of MANY life forms, among them several
primates, (golden tamarins come to mind) reptiles (the coastal bushmasters,
Lachesis muta rhombeata) and MANY others, including innumerable
insects/beetles.
One of the friends posting on this subject states that there is no
collection data on this plant, would someone PLEASE send a copy of the
latest Aroideana to them, as Eduardo`s article shows without a doubt that
this plant DOES exist in the wild, and where!
We quote in one breath as an example of a plant saved by collectors
Anthurium splendidum, but I do believe that this was 'saved' by both seed
and CUTTINGS as was stated by the self-same contributor, and then same
friend then states their reluctance to cutting their plant because it 'may
not survive', and we already know that it has not AS YET been induced to
produce seed.  I am confused.   Surely we MUST agree that something must be
done to at least try to increase the numbers of these plants first in
cultivation and then possible in the wild?   If it can not be done by
cuttings or by seed production, and we object to tissue culture, then what??
Perhaps 'Immaculate
conception' or Divine interception???? :--)>

   >> 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.<<

Again, I beg to disagree that this plant is an evoloutionary dead end---
there are too many that have been seen and that were collected in 'the
wild', in my opinion for it to be a sterile hybrid, and we sure need further
study (and this is available, a tiny bit of leaf tissue will give it`s DNA)
to determine it`s true ID and status!!
Tissue culture OR seed production of as many different collections is
certainly warranted, Eduardo, GO FOR IT!!!!!!!

>>     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
plants...<<

Eduardo, you have MY blessing (and I am certain the blessings of several
other people here in the USA) to micro-propagate this plant in Brazil, but
please try to get the material of as many different individual plants as
possible, not just from one plant (see my next posting concerning the origin
of all the plants presently in collections withing the U.S.A., all said to
be from cuttings made in Brazil but from only ONE plant there!).
I am certain that there are friends on this list that can send instructions
on an 'easy' way to do tissue culture in Brazil!!   In this manner, we
side-step those that here in this country who want to hold on to their
financial investment (and there are more than one), though if 'push came to
shove', $700.00 would not be out of the reach of some members as a
'donation' to 'calm the ruffled feathers' of the few who would hate to
'loose their investment' at the 'expense' of a possibility, however remote,
of trying to save this plant from extinction by micropropagating it, then
re-introducing LOTS of plants into the 'wild' it IF ENOUGH HABITAT STILL
EXISTS OR CAN BE LOCATED!!
   If we just sit and write, and then do nothing, it  surely is a 'death
sentence' anyway, so why not 'stir the waters' and do SOMETHING???
As 'odious' as it may be, the destruction of a plant in it`s limited habitat
so as to 'preserve' it`s high price in cutlivation HAS in fact been
recorded, I believe it was a palm species whose habitat was burned after a
certain collector had obtained enough seed??   Or maybe this is just one
more 'urban legend'?
My original plan, let us all remember, was for a 'breeding load' for SEED
production only!!!!!

MAN this is good brain stimulation, and SO much fun!   Let`s NOT stop now!

With Be$t Wi$hes,
Juliu$

                                      >>Regard$,

                                           Eduardo.<<




>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
>dependent
>by its scope and could reasonably take a decade to generate tangible
>results.
>In the meantime John's right, we and all remaining Philo. spiritus-sancti
>are
>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.
>spiritus-sancti?
>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
>and
>more of our favorite plants acquiring that infamous descriptor "almost
>extinct
>in the wild", where do we as the collectors and cultivators of such
>organisms
>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
>sincerely
>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
>welfare
>of our society please consider the broader benefits to be had if some kind
>soul
>were to donate a meristem of 'spiritus-sancti' (aka "left arm") to the
>society...
>..and all lab work, growing out & eventual sales became the domain of the
>IAS
>itself....  We might see the ensuing plants offered at a premium price to
>the
>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
>collector,
>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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