Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Alocasia Sanderiana for what it's worth!

Alocasia sanderiana (known as Kris plant) from the Araceae family is endemic ONLY in the Philippines. (picture shown was taken at an annual garden show of 2008 in Manila, Philippines with the label of its name)

I read from the link and learned that this particular species was hybridized since the 1950's by Salvadore Mauro, a postman and owner of "Amazon Nursery" from Miami, Florida.

Alocasia sanderiana x Alocasia longiloba (synonymous to a. watsoniana and a. lowii) to produce what is now popularly known as Alocasia amazonica or scientifically termed as Alocasia mortefontanensis. Other names associated to this hybrid plant are African Mask, Jewel Alocasia, Alocasia Alligator, Alocasia "Polly" or correctly Poly.

All of these names produced are confusing enough. Most of which were given for the sole purpose of renaming the plant in order to sell. But if you compare Alocasia sanderiana to the hybrid known as Alocasia amazonica or Alocasia mortefontanensis, would an ordinary person be able to tell the difference, considering that even native or true to type plants even possess variations with regards to flower, fruit, leaves, size, color and form???.......Actually, I cannot tell the difference if I compare this picture with the hybrid form from the internet.

I guess what I'm driving at is how are we, the Filipino people, be able to protect this biodiversity and still be able to make use of it's potential for the benefit of our countrymen without exhausting the natural populations in the wild? And if we are to do so, are we 100% sure that these hybridized plants and introduced flora and fauna to our country not going to affect the genetic make-up of our own species?

Picture above was labeled as alocasia x amazonica at the Horticulture 2011 garden exhibit, Manila, Philippines among landscaped plants. Now, can you spot the difference between both plants posted? Do you think that this was mislabeled or not?


Wally Suarez said...

Your photos show the horticultural hybrid Alocasia x amazonica. True A. sanderiana has very narrow blades.

Rico said...

Hi, Wally! It's nice to see and talk to you at MSB, even though we haven't been formally introduced. I appreciate that you're sharing this information, because I am so confused with identifying the true species of the plant from the hybrid form. It seems that I cannot rely on most sources nowadays, whether from the internet or from other sources. It is so frustrating and saddening me at the same time.

I think that I know what plant you are referring to, since I have encountered some pictures referring to it. I just need some kind of confirmation or affirmation that it is the right one.

Anyway, thank you for taking the time to post a message. May there still be hope for the species. Cheers!

Wally Suarez said...

Ironically, there seems to be more Alocasia sanderianas in cultivation than in the wild, although 1. I do not believe it is already extinct in its natural habitat, and 2. they are not more commonly cultivated in their country of origin than they are abroad. Incidentally though they are pretty tough and adaptable. Should you see them for sale- you can tell if it's the real thing by the very narrow, very wavy leaves- I recommend that you get them.

This is a very interesting blog; keep those nice photos and thoughts coming!

Rico said...

Okay. Thanks for the compliment and suggestions.

zog zog said...

Agree - your pics show the hybrid, not the real species

Post a Comment