Sunday, April 20, 2014

Surreal texture .... Alocasia melo

This is a rare small Alocasia from Sabah with textural leaves that feel like cardboard. It had been in cultivation since 1960s but the exact habitat was not known until sometime in 1990s where K.M. Wong,  A. Hayes and P Boyce found them growing on ultramafic river banks in the lowland of Sabah and eventually gave it a name in 1997. 

Below is the painting made by Mary Grierson from the specimen grown in Kew in 1960s.

The plant had been made available commercially but is still not very common. According to literature,  plants in the Australian botanical garden had been growing in free draining mixture with 75% perlite, 25% gypsum, epson salts, iron sulphate, lime dolomite and a little copper sulphate. Being a lowland jungle plant, high humidity and temperature is essential.

Ref: Curtis's botanical magazine, 1997, 82-86.

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