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[aroid-l] The Aroid Taste & Smell Garden

  • Subject: [aroid-l] The Aroid Taste & Smell Garden
  • From: "Ron Iles" roniles@eircom.net
  • Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 14:32:39 +0100


Here are my tentative suggestions on Spathiphyllum for the Garden of Taste &
Smell Memorability (Mnemonic = GOTASM?)

1.  The most perfumed Spathiphyllum are in Section Massowia (S. cannifolium
& S. commutatum) followed by some in Section Spathiphyllum.

2.  Species Section Amomophyllum with reflexed spathes have little or no
perceptible to me.

3. IThe priority is to secure maximum stocks of all the wild species in
cultivation together in single places.  One then has heterogeneity, the
perfume of Section Massowia, the dark green foliage of Section Spathiphyllum
& the exquisitely reflexed spathes, distinctive foliages & elegant spadices
of species of Section Amomophyllum?  It seems that apart from size variation
are commonly homogeneous with reduced or no perceptible perfume.  It would
seem good if hybridisation took account of all the species in the genus

4. It would be good to know which forms are safely edible & how palatable
they are. When I have adequate colonies & all are in flower, lavishly paying
guests are invited to this humble abode to be guinea pigs & rate their good
taste on a scale of minus ten to plus ten with Durian & Titanum fruit being
the lower & upper reference points?

5. Since Aroid-L cannot handle tastes & smells please send your samples for
identification in a well sealed envelope to the address below. SWAK.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Iles" <roniles@eircom.net>
To: <aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu>
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2002 1:42 PM
Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Edible Spathiphyllum Inflorescences?


Thank you.

Here, the fragrances of Spathiphyllum inflorescences range from zero through
just perceptible to the all pervading "spicy luxuriance" of S. cannifolium.
Intermediate are a few which to me outclass the most exquisite Man-made
perfumes.  Spadic fragrance seems to be most at times of peak fertility.
Many commercial hybrids seem to have little fragrance.  I have not had the
opportunity to taste the inflorescences.  Spathiphyllum toxicity has been
reported so I might be cautious of eating them without a willing human
guinea pig food taster.  According to Bunting 1960 the edible spadix of
S.phryniifolium is up to 11.5 cm long.  Some of the different forms here
under that name had spadices <7cms, a light snack .  The most vigorous of
the forms may be the true species.   Here the largest spadix is that of the
aptly named S. grandifolium about 15 cms (6") long.  Several of them might
make a "asparagus-like" meal.  It is moderately perfumed.  Some
Spathiphyllum cultvars are rumoured to have spathes (not spadices) >25 cms.
Aroid smells, tastes, textures?   Is this just the beginning of a most
comprehensive sensual wondering?

For the record, please do you have the name & origin of your Spathiphyllum
species at Vanderbilt?

Ron Iles (World Allied Spathiphyllum Promotions) (For future reference -

Jonathan wrote

I find this most interesting, especially with this particular species, for
the simple reason that the infructesence, when ripe, smells to me and many
others who have obliged me by smelling the thing, just like butterscotch -
which of course is a man-made fragrance/taste sensation. Interesting
indeed, although I doubt that there's any suggestion of that in the
developing inflor. that is used for food.

Jonathan Ertelt
Greenhouse Manager,
Vanderbilt University

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