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

  • Subject: Re: Fw: 'Self-heading' Philodendrons/fruit..
  • From: "Eduardo Goncalves" <edggon@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 10:13:50 -0500 (CDT)

Dear Julius,

    Well, I only have seen and collected P. saxicolum somewhat far from the 
coast, in Bahia state. It usually grows together with Anthurium affine, 
always in full (I mean FULL) sunlight! Plants growing in half-shade are 
never bluish (it is almost a rule in sun-lovers aroids). Try to give some 
sunlight to your plant.
    Another interesting aspect is that, in Amazonia (and probably the same 
in French Guiana), the diversity (and the biomass) of Bromeliads is not so 
impressive like it is in Coastal Brazil. However, there is one thing that 
can substitute those tanks for aroids seedling: Ant gardens. Ant gardens 
usually hold enough humidity for aroid seedlings and I have seen many 
different species of aroids germinating on this (from P. solimoesense to P. 
goeldii or Anthurium plowmanii). I think that ant gardens are the main 
"germinator" of epiphytic and hemiepiphytic aroids in Northern South 
America, and there are lots of Gesneriaceae, Peperomia and other plants 
growing on it. In fact, a common name for climbing aroids in Brazilian 
Aroids is "tracuá", and the same name is used for painfull ants! To the 
native people, climbing aroids and ants have the same name! In Coastal 
Brazil, ant gardens are not so common, so maybe the massive beds of 
Bromeliads may be used more properly. Life finds a way!
    About the monkeys, they vary from small tamarins to whooly monkeys and 
capuchins. Marsupials are also known to be "users" of aroid´s 
infructescence, but it seems that the importance of bats has been grossly 
overlooked in aroid literature.

                                  Very best wishes,


>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. 
>that sometimes takes advantage of the bromilead 'cups' to germinate, and
>then eventually grows out of them when they get too large.   This would 
>be a good possibility and a great 'strategy' in other species that are 
>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 
>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 
>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.

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