Re: Taccarum (fwd)

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Subject: Re: Taccarum

Dear Julius,

   Here in Brazil I grow two species: Taccarum weddellianum and Taccarum
warmingii. The other three species are T. cardenasianum, T. caudatum and
T. peregrinum. Last year I traveled more than 2.000 km to look for the
last one (T. peregrinum) but El Nino make the rainy season shorter in
Northeastern Brazil and all plants was dormant when I was there (there
was no way to find them in the field!). I will try again later. In
January I will be in northwestern portions of the Cerrado province
(state of Rondonia near the Bolivia=B4s border) to look for a possible T.
cardenasianum. The species is from Bolivia, but there are interesting
Andean remnants in some higher places of western Brazil, so I think I
have one chance in 100!=20
      In my plants, the tubers of T. weddellianum are smooth and with
yellowish patches. In fact they have beautiful tubers, as Julius told!
All my plants of this species are still young, so I don=B4t wait blooms
for the next two years. =20
       All T. warmingii clones I grow (3 or 4) don=B4t have that smooth
surface. They have the texture rather similar to Taro tubers, altought
they rounded and flattened apically. One of the most interesting thing
in such species is the base of petioles. They are red (just like blood)
in fertile plants and one I colected in the state of Goias had the base
of petioles bright yellow. It was really terrific! My biggest tuber is
spected to produce inflorescenses this year (our growing season are just
starting here in the Southern portions of the world).=20
    In my experience, Taccarum is hard to kill (I am the best one to
talk about this, because I was able to kill all my Sauromatum venosum!)
but don=B4t produce offsets usually, altought they can be divided. There
was a time that I collected a plant of T. warmingii in the field and the
tuber split when I tried to bury it, so I stored the two halves and both
sprouted in the growing season. I grow mine in my "all-purpose mix for
tuberous things", that is a misture of limestone grit, Dicksonia fibers
and cork. It is very common to find wild populations of Taccarum in
limestone outcrops here in Brazil (they grow in crevices in the rock) so
I think limestone is good for them. =20
       Let=B4s wait for contributions of other "Taccarophiles"!

Best wishes,

Julius Boos wrote:
> Dear Friends,
> I thought I`d start a discussion here on the genus Taccarum, another of t=
> seemingly little known South American Aroids that we read so little about=
> but which turns up from time to time in collections.   The GOA tells us
> there are 5 species, from tropical and sub-tropical S. America, from N.
> Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Peru.
> I was given a tuber of what I think is T.weddellianum last fall, and I mu=
> "wax poetic" for a moment on the beauty of this plants tuber!   The frien=
> who gave it to me, and who has grown it very successfully over a period o=
> years, told me that every year this particular plant produced an increasi=
> larger and impressive tuber, and he thought that he would have a world
> record-sized tuber last fall when he dug it up as it went into dormancy.
> When he dug "it" up, he found (to his great disappointment, I may add!) t=
> the large tuber had divided exactly into two smaller tubers.  The
> interesting thing (to me) was that the two new tubers ( each about 5' wid=
> one pound in weight, and half-moon in shape, with one side flat) gave the
> impression that the original larger tuber had been cleft exactly in half =
> a knife, and the sides where they touched were flat against each other.
> One of these two tubers, which he kindly gave to me, was a beautiful deep=
> dark almost translucent green, with brownish overtones, and was waxy in
> texture, a truly beautiful structure of the plant world.   Since they wer=
> said to like it dry during their dormant period, I placed this wonderful =
> beautiful, yes beautiful, tuber in a paper beg in my garage, and could no=
> resist taking it out to be admired by my wife and occasional visitors dur=
> the "winter" months of its dormancy.   To my surprise,  I noticed that it
> was slowly changing shape over the duration of its rest period in the pap=
> bag, the flat side becoming rounder, until when I planted it in April or
> thereabouts, after the spike on top had started its development, the tube=
> was completely spherical, with no sign of its previously flattened side!
> It quickly put up a beautiful leaf and a bloom, with a papery spathe whic=
> quickly withered, leaving the tall and impressive spadix exposed.   The
> thick, 30" tall petiole is a wonderfully dark, mottled green, and waxy
> looking.  The leaf reminds one of an Amorphophallus or a species of Tacca=
> I`d love to hear from anyone as to their experiences with this wonderful
> example of the aroid family, especially from anyone who may have other
> species of this genus.
> Cheers,
> Julius

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