Article: Typhoniums - Growing and Hybridizing these lesser-known Aroids: Aha!! Two for one...

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Image Typhoniums - Growing and Hybridizing these lesser-known Aroids
By LariAnn Garner on May 7, 2011

Tropical plant fanciers living in northern or temperate climates are interested in new, exotic looking plants to enhance the tropic atmosphere in their gardens. One genus of Aroids, Typhonium, is ideal for this because they go dormant in winter. But there are two caveats, one of which I can change, and one I can't . . .

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ImageSharon
May 6, 2011 6:50 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
...a biological lesson in a botanical world. And scientific as it is, I fully understand it.

I have a feeling this concept and your efforts will become quite sought after, since most of us enjoy stretching our zones at least a little bit. About the only 'tropical' looking thing I can grow easily and without concern is crocosmia, so I let it flourish, invasive or not! We always want what we can't have.

Thank you again for another informative and well written article. I always look forward to them. And the very best to you in your research. I am so glad you share it with us.
ImageLariAnn
May 6, 2011 7:00 PM CST
Name: LariAnn Garner
south Florida, USA
When in doubt, do the cross!
Sharon,

Much thanks from my heart, especially knowing the compliments are coming from you. For me you (and Aunt Bett) are in the status of legends, for you are so brim-full of wonderful true tales and priceless homespun wisdom. You do know I keep an eye out both here and at the "other site" for your articles, as i don't want to miss any.

LariAnn.
ImageSharon
May 6, 2011 7:16 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I think that's called a mutual admiration society, thank you from my heart!

tropicbreeze
May 7, 2011 8:38 AM CST
I've taken a big interest in our local Typhoniums over the past few years. Although they might be getting renamed Lazarum before long. They're fascinating plants that few people seem to know anything about. They come out at a time of year (wet season) when most people don't get around. They're relatively small plants so not very conspicuous. In fact, the taxonomist who was describing our species a number of years back found a new species within a couple of hundred metres of the herbarium that no one had noticed. I'd like to have the time to do a bit of crossing of species, there could be some interesting results. Really interested to see how yours turn out.
ImageLariAnn
May 7, 2011 1:58 PM CST
Name: LariAnn Garner
south Florida, USA
When in doubt, do the cross!
Zig, when I saw your Typhonium listing, I salivated, wondering how I could get some of them for my breeding program. I've seen photos of a number of species (from the IAS website) and just can't wait for the opportunity to breed with them. Caladiums are a bunch of fun to cross, but Typhonium is like the frontier of ornamental bedding aroids - almost like over 100 years ago, when Caladiums had not been crossed at all. Just think about the potential there - the wild Caladiums were tame compared to what you can get now (even more so, what with what the Thais and I have bred). So I see a future like that for Typhonium. Am I daft?

LariAnn
tropicbreeze
May 7, 2011 6:02 PM CST
Put it this way LariAnn, I don't think sane/level headed people have as much fun in life. So many plants have started out being fairly inconspicuous but through people's imagination have been developed into something quite special.

I've two Typhonium species that grow on my place, but are small. One I've potted up but the other I've only ever found one specimen so don't want to jeopardise it (might be the last remaining one in existence).

About 4 others I've found out bush are also potted up but still not identified. One of them Alistair Hay thinks is a new undescribed species, from photos I've shown him. I've managed to get samples in spirit of all of them that I'm taking to the herbarium for identification.

One of the big problems here is feral pigs. They smell the flowers, dig up the tubers and eat them leaving only the leaves and flowers. Later I've noticed they were even getting the young unflowering plants as well. They're so thorough they completely clean out whole areas.

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