I will add other probable parents of
A. × amazonica = (A. longiloba
'Lowii' × A. sanderiana).
Its leaf margins are undulate, while in A.
longiloba they are entire and A. sanderiana has deep
Alocasia 'Polly' is a newer cultivar, it
is more robust, and the leaf venation is thicker.
Alocasia 'Frydek' or 'Freydyk' or
'Maxkowskii' are probably cultivars or hybrids of A. micholitziana,
their leaves are velvety.
I'm sending you links to photos of these plants,
not to pages.
My pages about these plants were
made 6-7 years ago,
and there are a lot of errors in the descriptions.
The photos are identified correctly.
Being regarded as a hybrid species, the name
"amazonica" should be italicized:
Alocasia × amazonica
If something changed recently (during 5-6 years),
please don't kill me for false info.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, November 14, 2009 7:37
Subject: [Aroid-l] Alocasia Amazonica and
Alocasia x Amazonica
This one is going to be long guys and gals so please stay with
me!. Since many of you are growing this plant you may find this
I am seeking the assistance of any and all the botanists
and/or experts on this forum since I've uncovered an apparent new mystery and
can't seem to reach a resolution.
Although at least one plant
seller on the internet advertises "Straight from the Rainforest to Your Home"
while offering Alocasia Amazonica for sale this plant has never existed
naturally in any rain forests of the world. It is very well known this plant
is a hybrid but the actual parentage has been debated. Alocasia
Amazonica is likely a hybrid of Alocasia watsoniana x Alocasia
sanderiana but other crosses including Alocasia watsoniana x
Alocasia nobilis have produced similar results. Other sources have
stated other parentage is involved so I'm not sure what the real parentage may
have been, I only know it did not come from nature.
The plant is
sometimes known by the common names African Mask, Green Velvet, Jewel
Alocasia, Alocasia Polly, or Alocasia Alligator and commercial growers have
sold it as Alocasia Frydek and as Alocasia Maxkowskii.
gardens rarely list hybrid plants on their website but if you do an internet
search you will find the National
Botanic Garden of Belgium plus some "official"
sources including the University of Connecticut and the USDA list the plant as Alocasia x Amazonica
André. Unless I've got my facts totally wrong "André" refers to
Michaux who lived
from 1746 to 1802.
Since Alocasia Amazonica is not a
species and at least the plant we know by the name Alocasia Amazonica today
wasn't even hybridized until the 1930's are they talking about the same
plant? How could it be the same hybrid if botanist André Michaux wrote
about it before his death in 1802?
Now, for some background for those on the
forum that don't normally dig into this kind of "plant
Alocasia Amazonica is not a species and has never been
described to science It does not grow naturally in any native rain
forest,is not from the Amazon. The name should never be used in either
the italicized form or with single quotations since it is neither a published
species nor a registered cultivar. With the help of John Banta our friend
author and expert Julius Boos was able to trace the hybrid to a nursery owner
who during the 1930's and 1940's owned a now defunct nursery in the Miami. The
nursery was known as the "Amazon Nursery" and the grower is said to have named
Alocasia Amazonica after his own business. The name has since been used by
growers for over 70 years.
Just in case you are confused,
Alocasia species are all naturally found in the geographical region
composed of Southeast Asia and neighboring island nations of the Pacific Ocean
including the Philippines. No Alocasia species has ever been found
naturally in Central or South America including the Amazon basin although
species have been imported as well as set free and now thrive in the area.
Just in case one of our members believes Alocasia Amazonica is a
species here are three scientific data bases. You won't find Alocasia
Amazonica on any.
The Royal Botanic Garden Kew, London: http://www.ipni.org/index.html The Missouri Botanical
Garden: http://www.tropicos.org/ World Checklist of Selected Plant
Still, it is
listed on the National Botanic Garden of Belgium website: http://www.br.fgov.be/RESEARCH/COLLECTIONS/LIVING/LIVCOL/list/l_113.html
credited to André. Some experts believe the
plant did not originate in Miami and likely was originally bred in Belgium,
France or England since it is mentioned in Burnetts 'Cultivated
Alocasia'. I don't have access to that publication so I can't check out
the sources. If it was hybridized in Europe, who did it?
When? Was André Michaux
involved? Did he write about it? If so, where are his papers and
more importantly, is it the same plant we grow?
Are we talking about the same hybrid or
was there a plant hybridized before 1800 in England, France or Belgium that
also used the name Alocasia x Amazonica which was copied by the grower in
I can normally figure these "mysteries" out with the help of
Julius, Leland, Tom and Pete as well as some of our other esteemed botanists
but this one has me stumped. Josef, David, Wilbert and Simon, since you
are in Europe do you know anything about this? I'd really like to
understand where the name originated and if we are talking about the same
plant that is commonly tissue cultured and grown
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