Re: The Myth and the Truth About Alocasia Amazonica By JohnBanta]]
- Subject: Re: The Myth and the Truth About Alocasia Amazonica By JohnBanta]]
- From: "Marek Argent" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 04:20:32 +0100
Both A. lowii and A. watsoniana are
currently regarded as varieries (or cultivars?) of A.
at least the IAS page says so:
Photos of A. sanderiana you can see here (page
created in 1995):
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 6:53
Subject: [Aroid-l] The Myth and the Truth
About Alocasia Amazonica By JohnBanta]]
The myth just got
I was digging to learn more about the parents and found both
Alocasia watsoniana Hort. and Alocasia sanderiana Hort. are horticultural
names according to the International Plant Names Index! I know Alocasia
watsoniana is truly Alocasia longiloba but what is
Original Message --------
Below are the facts about the origination of Alocasia
Amazonica as related by long time International Aroid Society member John
Banta. For those that are not unacquainted with the names in John's
information these are some of the original founders of
the IAS. John
is considered somewhat "legendary" as a grower and has often been lovingly
known as "The Banta". In addition,
although not mentioned in John's
piece, both John and I want to credit Julius Boos for his input. Julius
has tried for years to correct the misconceptions about this plant. If
there is a living legendary figure in the IAS other than John it would be
I now realize as a
result of the help of many of you what we know as Alocasia Amazonica is likely
a variety of hybrid plants, not necessarily the original as John
describes. Some have a velvet appearance while others do not so
different parents must be involved.
Still, I can't figure out why the
plant is credited to Edouard F André on the National Botanic Garden of Belgium
website. Someone in Europe that can has access to their records is going
to have to explain that part.
The Myth and
the Truth About Alocasia Amazonica
By John Banta
I guess that it is just another burden that old men must endure.
We see facts known to us as true replaced by logical myths.
Unfortunately, Monroe Birdsey, Bob See and Ralph Davis whom all knew
Salvadore Mauro, a great plantsman are all dead.
I was fortunate
enough to have visited Sam?s nursery with Monroe. The visit was a result of my
questioning Monroe why in the
world an Asiatic genus, Alocasia, was given
the name, ?Amazonica?? Monroe?s skill in teaching is illustrated by his
response. He made a phone call and then insisted that I accompany him to a
friend?s nursery. We drove out to near the Miami
airport. Sam lived
on about a quarter acre lot just off 36th Street. Behind his
small house was a large (about 20X30 foot
enclosure roofed over with snow fencing. ( for those of you who
have never lived in snow country; snow
fencing is about 4 feet tall
and composed of 1 inch wide wooden slats woven together with 14 gauge
galvanized wire leaving
about a 1 inch gap between the slats.) His
growing area was magical, the cement blocks were covered with algae, moss and
ferns and the benches crowded with beautifully grown foliage plants such
as Homalomena wallisi ? Mauro? that he introduced in
the 1950's. Sam was
killed in an automobile accident while at work as a postman on one of
the three wheeled motor bikes
used back in those days. Well, back to
our story. As we approached a bench of Alocasias I asked Sam how
Alocasia amazonica got it?s name. He answered ,? I guess it could have been
named for a nursery!?
I asked who made the hybrid? Sam and
Monroe had a good laugh at my expense. I had not noticed the small sign as we
entered; ?Amazon Nursery? I asked what the parents were. Sam?s smile
quickly darkened. He was upset that it was erroneously reported
to be A.
sanderiana X a. lowii whereas it was in reality A. sanderiana X watsoniana.
Years later I remade the hybrid as Sam
suggested I should to verify the
parents. All of the seedlings came up as easily identified as A.
?Amazonica?. I believe
without a doubt that the true origin of
Alocasia Amazonica was in Sam?s nursery in the 1950's.
wish that some of our departed plantsmen were still around for more reasons
than to vouch for Sam?s accomplishments.
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