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Fw: 'Self-heading' Philodendrons/fruit..

  • Subject: Fw: 'Self-heading' Philodendrons/fruit..
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@email.msn.com>
  • Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 09:55:37 -0500 (CDT)

----- Original Message -----
From: Julius Boos <ju-bo@email.msn.com>
To: <edggon@hotmail.com>
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2001 8:56 AM
Subject: Re: 'Self-heading' Philodendrons/fruit..

----- Original Message -----
From: Eduardo Goncalves <edggon@hotmail.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 9:42 PM
Subject: Re: 'Self-heading' Philodendrons.

Dear Eduardo and Donna

Ed, thank you so much for these great observations and comments!   Most
interesting stuff!!!!!!

I am very interested in your comments about another species, P. corcovadense
that sometimes takes advantage of the bromilead 'cups' to germinate, and
then eventually grows out of them when they get too large.   This would also
be a good possibility and a great 'strategy' in other species that are found
growing  high in the canopy, such as P. goeldii and P. solimoesense, we
observed both species  in the wild in Fr. Guyana, Joep believes that they
are most often found growing HIGH in the jungle canopy, and only when the
tree is cut down or falls naturally (from death of the tree or a high wind)
are these species then found growing in a terrestrial condition as has
been reported in the literature, we actually saw one huge specimen of
P. solmoesense growing on the ground near the side of a major road,  and
Joep remembers when the tree that it used to grow high up in the canopy
was felled during construction on the road!.

So as you have pointed out, they most probably start germination in a
group of bromileads high in the canopy while sending roots down to the
floor to obtain moisture, meanwhile taking advantage of the trapped water
in the bromileads over a period of years till they out-grow the bromilead
and the roots are down to the damp forest floor.    Many people may not
realise that some of the huge specimens with rhizomes several meters
long may be well over a hundred years old!!

I have seed a slide taken somewhere
in Coastal Brazil of a species of Philodendron growing in and amongst a BIG
stand or 'wall' of bromileads, it was reported that it did not survive under
conditions.   I am going to try to locate a copy of the slide to try to get
a positive I.D. of this species, but from MEMORY (and my old memory
generally is still pretty good!), I THINK it was P. saxicolum, the leaves
also had that distinctive 'blue' cast to them.   Have you found this species
also growing in association with bromileads??  By the way, my plant of P.
saxicolum does NOT show this 'blue', do they tend to loose it in
cultivation, and does anyone know what exactly causes it??

What species of primates/monkeys may be found in the dry areas where
P. leal-costae, P. saxicolum and P. adamantiuum occur, perhaps capuchins??

Drop me a line when you have a moment, I hope that things continue to go
well for you.



>>Dear Donna,

    Dispersers in aroids are even more poorly known than pollinators! Most
species of Philodendron have ripe berries greenish or cream colored, that
are usually inconspicuous. That aspect make them not so attractive to birds.
However, most of them have a very strong smell of butyric acid (rancid
butter). Such combination of aspects (together with pendent infructescens)
make them strong candidates for bat-dispersed (or non-primate mammal
dispersed) fruits. That is the case of most Philodendron subgen.
Meconostigma (self-heading), and in fact the majority of species. Monkeys
are usually curious herbivores and will taste everything they can put their
hands (four hands) on. So they usually are found eating Philo seeds too.
They are found eating everything, including our field snacks! It is true
that some Amazonian species (including P. elaphoglossoides and others) have
fruits that are bright red and showy. The berries are usually easy to pick
as an unity, that make them serious candidates for bird dispersed fruits.
   Well, I am not so good with bromeliads (in fact, I think that the concept
of genus in Bromeliaceae is almost senseless), but the plants are
Vriesia-like.  Ok, I know, it is not so informative... I think I have such
information in home (I am in the lab right now), so I will write again
later. Whatever, I donīt think there is a specific association, but I have
NEVER found a "bromeliadless" P. leal-costae!
   There are other species that usually start to grow in bromeliads,
including another Philo subg. Meconostigma from the Atlantic Coast (P.
corcovadense). Seeds usually germinate in the tanks, probably because of the
permanent water source. However, they are too big to spend his whole life
growing there, so they send out roots to the soil and start to grow as an
hemiepiphyte. This is a common association, but other species occasionally
germinate in the tanks. It is a good place to be if you are a Philodendron
seedling germinating in the canopy. Even in the rain forests, it is hard to
keep a constant water supply if you are 30 m from the ground. Maybe
Philodendron leal-costae it is just more specialized (once again, maybe
because it grows in places where the water is not promptly available all the

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