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Alocasia Amazonica, the Banta's reply re Andre

  • Subject: Alocasia Amazonica, the Banta's reply re Andre
  • From: ExoticRainforest <Steve@exoticrainforest.com>
  • Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 15:20:58 -0600

Below is a very important note I received today from Australian botanist Alistair Hay as well as my response.  I'm satisfied with what I've learned and believe a clear distinction should be made as to the origination of the plant we know as Alocasia Amazonica but I doubt I'll be changing a lot of minds in the world of horticulture even though Alistair is one of the very best minds in the field of Alocasia species in the world.

It is just my opinion but I know others agree.  
André's mortefontanensis should be known as Alocasia x mortefontanensis with a clear distinction made between it and Salvadore Mauro's plant bred at his Amazon Nursery in Miami known as both  Alocasis Amazonica and Alocasia x amazonica.


Alistair Hay wrote:
Hi Steve,

I don't know much about "A. x amazonica" though it appears not to be a validly published botanical name. I am not aware of the name going back before the 1950's, though the hybrid plant might well go back to the 19th century (and been re-made later), as there were many hybrids made then. Plants have sometimes been given completely erroneous geographic epithets, like the Asian Lycoris africana, and the African Nerine sarniensis, to take two examples from Amaryllidaceae,  but I think the origin being the name of the nursery may be correct in this case.  IMO the IAS as ICRA for aroids should publish a determination that "Alocasia x amazonica" is the correctly cultivar Alocasia 'Amazonica'.

By the way, the Alocasia nobilis your ?Belgian correspondent refers to is an illegitimate name because of the prior A. nobilis Hallier f.  (an unrelated Sumatran species).  'Nobilis' cannot be used as a cultivar epithet in Alocasia (for a form of A. sanderiana) because of the existence of Alocasia nobilis Hallier f., if my interpretation of the ICNCP is correct.

I remember agonizing over whether to include A. watsoniana in the A. longiloba complex. He hasn't grown enough of the variable plants in the complex, I suspect. What look like different species in cultivation become much more blurred if one looks (at more variability) in the wild. I suspect the cultivated big watsoniana should also be given the status of cultivar, Alocasia 'Watsoniana'.  Many of these problems with and unending arguments/discussions about "horticultural-botanical" hybrids and species can be simply circumvented by making them cultivars. 


Thanks Alistair!  I received this note from Belgium just an hour ago:

Ok Steve.
I have checked at my book and effectively,the plant described in 1891 by ed Andre is alocasia mortfontanensis, as john banta write it in your reply.i have grow this plant years agoo and it seem that there are no really apparent difference from the plant know as alocasia x amazonica like we all know today,exept thet the leaves are tipycally more large in a x mortfontanensis.This plant was not from a belgian grower as i mentioned before,but from a french grower (MM Chantrier) and is said to be from 1891.The parents were alocasia lowii 'grandis' by alocasia sanderana.So John Banta is probably correct.The cross 'amazonica' is probably from America.For your information,the plant in the living collection in The belgian botanical garden of Meise is 'only' a common alocasia x 'amazonica'....I know it well as they got the plant from me years agoo in an plant exchange exercise!
Best regards

As a result I recommending that Derek Birch consider doing as you suggest and post the correct info on the IAS site since it strongly appears the Alocasia x mortfontanensis cross is the one noted on the Belgium garden site which is not the same cross and should not be used as Alocasia x amazonica.

Thanks again as always!


fn:Steve  Lucas

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