Monday, August 15, 2011

Alocasia sanderiana var nobilis

I set eyes on my first Alocasia sanderiana var nobilis at a private gardener's collection more than 10 years ago. I thought I had been impressing the veteran with my incessant botanical mumbo jumbo until I saw the plant and dismissed it as plastic .... this was almost the "most humble day of my life" ....

This mother of all Alocasia x amazonica was first described by W. Bull in 1884 from specimens collected in The Phillippines. Some believed its white venations and dissected leaves may serve to enhance a "tattered" look and makes it less appealing to potential diners.

From a horticulture point of view, the wild plant is certainly more impressive and eye-catching than the hybrid - which makes you wonder why bother. However, its also more temperamental. Like many wild Alocasias, it has a worrying habit of going dormant...sometimes seemingly forever.

The wild plant is now very rare - in fact, it is officially critcally endangered, since its natural habitat is reduced to 2 lowland localities in Mindanao which are subjected to deforestation and human enroachment. Tissue cultured plants are available occasionally but they are definitely less common than its hybrid.


Hermes said...

Lost mine this last winter - lovely plant - misss it.

Hort Log said...

ha....I have lost plenty already but I always get replacements when there's a chance.

Related Posts with Thumbnails