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Re: Forms of ZZ plant -thanks + a tissue culture question

  • Subject: Re: Forms of ZZ plant -thanks + a tissue culture question
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@msn.com>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2007 16:09:34 +0000

>From : 	Adam Black <epiphyte1@earthlink.net>
Reply-To : 	Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent : 	Friday, October 26, 2007 4:20 AM
To : 	Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Subject : 	[Aroid-l] Forms of ZZ plant -thanks + a tissue culture question

Dear Adam,

Thanks for the kind words.   Remember, I only suggested (in another posting) 
  that the Zamioculcas now commonly available because of tissue culture may 
be modified and so be larger and more attractive 'selections' than the wild 
'mother' plant might be.   As far as I know little data is availabe on these 
Like you, I like to have at last one wild-collected plant which the tissue 
cultured plants can be compared to!
There seem to be quite a few 'new' cultivars/selections which are said to 
have been individuals selected and propagated from batches produced from 
tissue culture.  Several Alocasias, Philodendrons, Caladiums, etc. come to 
Michael Mahan reports that he saw cuttings of Zamioculcus for sale at the 
IAS show for over $100.00, and others across the room, large potted 
specimens, for $30.00.   I think that we can say that the cheaper ones were 
the tissue-cultured specimens, I only wish I knew more about the story 
behind the specimens which were being sold for expensive prices!

The Best,


>>I've been busy and haven't had a chance to respond, but wanted to give a 
>>very belated thank you to all who posted on and off list to my inquiry 
>>several weeks back about whether or not the several forms Zamioculcas 
>>floating around were one or more species. And thanks especially to Julius 
>>for clariflying that they are all simply one species and bringing up the 
>>interesting fact that the "mainstream" form originated from a spontaneous 
>>variation/mutation/freak resulting from the tissue culturing process. Are 
>>there other tissue cultured aroids out there that are noticably different 
>>than their wild counterparts?
My wife used to work for a biotech company doing tissue culture on
Pelargoniums, and when experimenting with various hormones
and stuff she was able to reliably create some very interesting things
that would surely be of interest to the horticultural world, yet the
artificial creation of new mutants was far from the focus of the
company's business plan and were merely byproducts that were sacrificed.
  Seeing some of the Alocasias, etc that are available mainly
due to tissue culture, I wonder how many are actually noticably
different than the wild form? Have tissue cultured Amorph. titanum been 
around long enough to see if there is any difference from a
seed-grown plant in respect to size, growth rate, flowering, etc? It
appears that all the micropropagated Venus' fly traps available today
seem to be dwarfed in comparison to wild flytraps.
I am in no way trying to bash the tissue culturing of plants, as I know that 
some plants would probably not be around let alone available to collectors 
if it weren't for this method of propagation. However, going back to the 
topic of the different forms of Z. zamioculcas, I now value my "wild form" 
of this species much more, knowing that the "artifical form" will always 
dominate if not smother the wild type out of the horticultural trade. It's 
good to know what they actually look like in the wild, and to preserve this 
in cultivation. But then of course, many species well established in 
cultivation (not in tissue culture) are selections from wild plant 
populations with emphasised characteristics (showiness, shape, size, 
fragrance, edibility, hardiness, etc) and are also far removed from what 
might be considered the "typical" wild form likely to be seen over the 
majority of the plant's range. Can mutations/variations that pop up in 
tissue culture be considered comparable to mutations that randomly occur in 
the wild - Artifically induced freaks vs. freaks of nature.

Adam Black

Julius Boos wrote:

>>From : 	ExoticRainforest <Steve@ExoticRainforest.com>
>Reply-To : 	Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
>Sent : 	Thursday, October 11, 2007 3:46 PM
>To : 	"Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
>Subject : 	[Aroid-l] Two species of Zamioculcas?
>Dear Adam, Steve, and all Aroidophyles,
>'Tropicos" was quoted by Steve as a source which states that there are
>species of Zamioculcas.  Tropicos, for some reason, continues to carry
>outdated and incorrect information on plants, and appears to be in dire
>of being updated.  Volunteers???
>The genus East African Zamioculcas, as presently understood, consists
>just ONE widespread but variable species, Zamioculcas zamifolia
>This may be confirmed by reading the two most recent works on the
genus, Pg.
>149 of "The Genera of Araceae" by S.J. Mayo, J. Bogner, and P.C. Boyce,
>a recent update in "Aroideana", Vol 28, 2005, pg. 3, by Josef Bogner.
>may note that in the article in Aroideana, figs. 4-6, pg. 7, Josef
>that Z. "lancifolia" is a synonym of Z. zamioculcas.
>My hope is that this note will clear up any remaining questions or
>that may be floating around 'out there' in aroid-land concerning this 
>now-common ''Interior Landscaping" plant.
>Good Growing!!
>Julius Boos,
>    >>There are two forms of Zamioculcas floating around - the now 
>    form labeled as Z. zamiifolia or "ZZ plant" and another type that
>    to pop up from time to time before the mass-produced form
>    drowned it out in the market

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