Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Alocasia reversa in situ

This plant, first described in Britian by N.E. Brown in 1890 from plants brought in by commercial collectors, was thought to be from the Phillippines. Actually, they are from SW Borneo, not widely distributed and confined to soils around limestone cliff. The name describes to the darker colouration of the mid rib and venations of the leaf, which in the Alocasias are typically paler than the colour of the leaf lamina.

Borneo is the home to many small and horticulturaly desirable Alocasia, many of them of restricted distributions, mostly at limestone or sandstone hills. Thanks to tissue culture, this plant and many others in the genus are now commonly available in commerce. And very cheaply too.

However, an often-heard complaint about Alocasias is that they can suddenly die on you. This has happened to me on several occasions too, but it seems to affect the potted plants only. Specimens planted on the ground usually are more long lived.


I likE plants! said...

I think alot of Aroids in general have that die-off problem. It happened to me with one of my Amorphophallus sp. probably some sort of fungal rot.

Hermes said...

Great picture. I suspect the requirements of Aroids are not yet fully understood - they can be tricky at times.

Hort Log said...

Amorphophallus are definitely tricky, especially the Javan ones. Some of them are impossible, like bufo and pendulus. For Alocasias, I find that while mother plants may die back, they sometimes give a lot of small offsets which grow after a few months (or a year) so inspect the soil carefully before throwing all away.

Dennis ll said...

The limestone Aroids in Kalimantan area is interesting and little studied also. Have you seen anything there ?

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