Aroids forum: "Alocasia" Hilo Beauty is no longer an Alocasia!

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Name: Steve Lucas
Siloam Springs, AR
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ExoticRainforest
Mar 8, 2010 5:25 PM CST
I've read this article before but today I read it again and decided some of you might want to know.

According to an article on page 126 in Aroideana. volume 32, 2009, the plant known as Hilo Beauty is a Caladium, not an Alocasia. An article written by Dr. Wilbert Hetterscheid explains the species is relatively new to science and was never properly identified. It is also unknown where this plant originated in nature.

The correct species name is Caladium praetermissum and little is known about the species. All references to this plant being either an Alocasia or a Xanthosoma do not take into consideration the requirements for those genera. The plant does however fit the genus Caladium.

From the Kew's CATE Araceae the requirements for the genus Caladium are:

Distinguishing Features: Tuberous geophytes; leaves usually peltate, blade often variegated, cordate-sagittate, sagittate or rarely trisect, fine venation reticulate, inframarginal collective vein present; spathe strongly constricted, blade withering immediately after anthesis, tube persistent; spadix fertile to apex; flowers unisexual, perigone absent; male flowers forming a truncate synandrium, pollen shed in monads. Differs from Scaphispatha in spathe tube always convolute at anthesis, well developed sterile flowers between male and female zones, stylar region as broad as ovary (Caladium paradoxum has discoid, coherent stylar regions), placentas 1-2 (-3), parietal to subbasal.

It appears the name "Alocasia" Hilo Beauty dates back to an incorrect entry in Graf's Exotica.

Aroideana is the journal of the International Aroid Society.
Name: Susan B
East Tennessee (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member
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lakesidecallas
Mar 8, 2010 7:10 PM CST
I heard a while back that they were going to move it. I have a small plant and if you just look at it, it looks more like a Caladium than an Alocasia.
Such is the field of botany- always changing, always moving plants around, always renaming.

I remember at the 98 Convention Dr. M. Buzgo came from Switzerland to give a talk on Acorus, but it had recently been kicked out of Araceae somewhere else. Oops!
Name: Rachel
Rural Retreat, Va
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RachelLF
Mar 8, 2010 7:14 PM CST
Thank's Steve for taking out the time to add this infomation here and on D.G as well. I read this in the Aroideana book a while back. I do remember reading this discussion on another internet forum a long while back (can't re-call which site) but I was glad to read a closure via the book.

Thank's so much for the reminder. Sometime's I read and then forget after a while!





Name: Steve Lucas
Siloam Springs, AR
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ExoticRainforest
Mar 8, 2010 7:25 PM CST
Actually, there are few things being moved unless they are improperly placed. Botanists just follow a set of rules set out several hundred years ago which sometimes require a plant to be moved from one genus to another.

This plant wasn't ever put into a "slot" by a botanist but instead by A.B. Graf in his book. Mr. Graf was a horticulturist, not a botanist and many of his photos have bad captions but the current editors of his book refuse to correct known errors.

Botanists rarely take on a plant to describe it formally unless they know exactly where it originated in nature and no one knows to this day about Caladium praetermissum. I have an unknown Philodendron in my own collection that is stunning and we've only recently learned where it likely came from in Ecuador. Dr. Croat has been hesitant to give it a name but we may be able to do so this summer if it produces an inflorescence that can be properly dissected. All the dried material is already in the Missouri Botanical Garden herbarium.

I have corresponded with Wilbert on a fairly regular basis since he is the world authority on the genus Amorphophallus. Wilbert used a plant in the Botanical Garden of Munich which had already been determined to be a Caladium but little other work had ever been done other than considering it might be a form of Caladium bicolor.

The name "praetermissum" means overlooked or forgotten.
Name: Steve Lucas
Siloam Springs, AR
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ExoticRainforest
Mar 8, 2010 7:28 PM CST
I just love to dig up information that is often overlooked by collectors. Glad you found it useful Rachel. I am fully expecting a rebuttal on Dave's from one contributor that once told me on another forum I didn't know what I was talking about. On anything.
Name: Rachel
Rural Retreat, Va
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RachelLF
Mar 9, 2010 9:09 PM CST
I hear you loud and clear Steve! I think all appear's to be well for now though;-) Time will tell.

I have a question for you:

I was just sitting here looking at my Alocasia zebrina plant and re-calling that I remember you having one as well back when I visited you. My plant has done OK since I have owned it (around 4 month's) but it is not thriving at all just existing. Could you tell me the "environmental" condition's in which this particular Alocasia thrive's so I can try and do better with my own plant. Also, you may want to think about applying here and perhap's even on Daves Garden the truth concerning the Alocasia tigrina and A. tigrina superba and I think I am missing another one here but....

Thank's Steve.
Name: Steve Lucas
Siloam Springs, AR
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ExoticRainforest
Mar 9, 2010 10:21 PM CST
My Alocasia zebrina hasn't gone dormant in several years but it has done so in the past. I believe the "trick" may be that I keep it in a very bright south facing window and make sure the soil temp never drops below 60 degrees F.

According to botanist Pete Boyce the name Alocasia tigrina does not exist in science. It has been applied to Alocasia zebrina in the trade for a clone with very well-marked petioles. Alocasia tigrina superba is just another "made-up" name primarily used by sellers.

They do this because most have no understanding of natural variation in aroids but there may also be a financial reason. If a seller has more product to sell then collectors will buy more plant. If two plants "look" different then the seller has more things to sell. Obviously I can't prove that but more than a few aroid researchers have mentioned that possibility.

There is also a version sold as Alocasia reticulata that also is only a variation and made-up name. LariAnn has been doing more research on that one. "Reticulata" is not a recognized species but most sellers claim it is, instead it is just another form of Alocasia zebrina according to all the botanists. I've traded dozens of email on all of these with Pete and Alistair Hay and they insist there are no other species involved.

Alocasia zebrina is endemic to the Philippines and restricted to the islands of Luzon, Mindanao, Leyte, Samar, Biliran and Alabat. To be "endemic" just means it isn't found anywhere else in the world.

A zerbrina is easily distinguished from all other Philippine Alocasia species by its rather narrowly sagittate leaves with striped petioles. Sagittate means to have the shape of an arrowhead but the posterior lobes will be longer than broad and directed toward the base.

Everything I've been able to learn is here: http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Alocasia%20zebrina%20pc.html

It may be good if LariAnn will add her thoughts and observations to this thread.

As for Dave's, if you want to start a thread I'll gladly respond. However, I'd really like to see what others add before i chime in. There are some good minds on Dave's and at this point I'd rather allow them to take the lead. One, other than Lariann, is a friend.

Steve
Name: LariAnn Garner
south Florida, USA
When in doubt, do the cross!
Forum moderator Pollen collector Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Aroids Seed Starter
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LariAnn
Mar 12, 2010 5:51 PM CST

Moderator

Here I am! On the topic of the group of plants that includes Alocasia zebrina, I have an article on the subject coming out in the newest Aroideana, for those of you who are members of the IAS. If not, perhaps this is a good time to join!

I won't spoil the fun by repeating the article information here, but just to say that I've bred with all three plants (zebrina, "tigrina" and "reticulata) and my results indicate a stability of characteristics (genetic) that would imply more than just a varietal nature. In fact, the distinguishing characteristics are so dominant in crosses that no matter if the parent is something as different as the Borneo Giant, the characteristics of the "reticulata", for example, come through totally.

To add sauce to the goose, I unveil what I call "variant 4", a plant that seems to be intermediate between "reticulata" and "tigrina", and is easier to grow than both of them. Of course, it is high on my hybridization list this year.
Be the Captain of What's Gonna Happen!
Name: Steve Lucas
Siloam Springs, AR
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ExoticRainforest
Mar 12, 2010 5:59 PM CST
I've been waiting for your post! I am anxious to read the article (since I knew it was coming) and hope everyone will take your "advice" and join the IAS.

Everyone should also know LariAnn has a great article on "Elephant ears" (she knows I hate the term) which makes my viewpoint look pretty silly. Once you join you will be able to download the IAS newsletter with her article on the first page. All the past issues of the newsletter are also available to members.

You an join here: http://www.Aroid.org


Thanks LariAnn!

Steve
Name: Rachel
Rural Retreat, Va
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RachelLF
Mar 13, 2010 11:05 PM CST
I am looking forward to reading the latest new's. I sincerely hope that there are alot of other's eager to learn more concerning the Araceae family as a whole as well.

Name: Jan
St. Pete,FL
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plumerias Dog Lover
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Budgielover
May 10, 2010 6:12 PM CST
Can other caladiums be grown right in a pond like hilo beauty?

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