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Re: Urospatha and Montrichardia

-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Vannini <interbnk@infovia.com.gt>
To: ju-bo@msn.com <ju-bo@msn.com>
Date: Monday, November 22, 1999 11:14 AM
Subject: Re: Urospatha and Montrichardia

>Dear Mr. Boos:<

Dear Jay,
Glad to hear from you!
It is interesting that you have observed this 'dwarf' form of Montrichardia
in Guatemala!!   What interests me is that in T`dad this small form seems to
be genitically 'fixed', as if it is grown in 'good' soil and fertilized, it
remains small, and does not become a 'giant' like it`s 'cousins' growing
close by under 'better' conditions!   I believe this illustrates how Aroids
seemingly mutate and evolve much more quickly than is presently recorded.
We had quite a long discussion in this forum on this point a while ago.
They will grow under drier conditions than one would expect---- a friend of
mine in Trinidad, W.I., planted it in a garden bed in his dry yard, way
above the water table where the only water received was from the on and off
rains and the occasional watering from a hose, yet this plant did well, so
well in fact that it spread out from the bed onto his lawn area where he had
to mow the emerging  'trunks' down with his lawn mower!!!!
I`d bet that the small form you found growing in wetter conditions in
Guatemala also belong to this 'small clone', and grew from it`s seeds!!
There is a great need for a revision of this genus!   In T`dad one can
observe several populations of this genus growing close together, what would
be classified as M. linifera seems to favor fresh water swamps, while M.
arborescens favors salt/brackesh water conditions, and then there are these
'dwarf' populations growing in poorer, drier conditions remain an enigma!!
Also of interest is that my friend Joep Moonen tells me that in Fr. Guiana
the two presently recognised species in this genus can be found growing in
fresh water close to each other, but that the 'primitive' bird, the Hoatzin,
will feed soley on the leaves of Montrichardia linefera, NOT M. arborescens!
It too seems able to recognise the difference between these two plants!!!
There is a population growing high in the crater lake of the dormant volcano
on Grenada Island, W.I. that is said to look 'different' that needs to be
Hopefully in our lifetimes SOMEONE will sort them out!!!
All the best,

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