Arisaema surprise

Jean Halverson jahalve at MHTC.NET
Mon Aug 14 21:14:26 CEST 2000

> It might be well for the seedX to ask donors to identify seeds that are
> "O.P". Arisaema taxonomy is confused enough without having a lot of garden
> hybrids introduced into the mix.  Jim McClements

Well, Jim, I'm glad your hybrid is so attractive.  However, I thought I would
finally have seed to donate to the exchange this year.  I have three situations
and would like some discussion on how we should identify seed.

1)  A dracontium is setting seed.  It's in my woods mixed with A. triphyllum, but
I have never noticed any hybridization between these two natives and their bloom
times don't overlap very much.  It's 29 meters (95 feet)
from the artificially shaded area where I have my non-native Arisaema and my
driveway plus full sun flowerbeds
separate the two areas.  I'm confident that these seeds will be true.

2)A purchased bulb of A. candidissimum is setting seed.  One of these grown from
seed and blooming for the first time is very close and I assumed they would
happily cross, never thinking about crosses from others as close.  I don't
remember what was blooming at the same time, but something undoubtedly was.

3)I purchased A. fargesii from Ellen Hornig and am therefore confident of its
identity.  It is also setting seed this year.  However, I don't have other plants
that I know are this species and didn't check to see if there were male & female
flowers present on this plant.  A bulb purchased from another source as A.
candidissimum variety obviously wasn't.  It was somewhat similar to A. fargesii
and to a bulb that was purchased as A. brevipes so I moved the wrongly named
plant close to these two.  All three were blooming and my stupid thought was that
if the misnamed bulb was one of them, it would perhaps pollinate it's 'sister.'
So the seeds from A. fargesii could be true, or could be a cross with an unknown
species.  Since the plant labelled A. brevipes came from the same source as the
misnamed candidissimum, I'm not sure of its identity.  My identification skills
aren't well developed yet.

So should I send seeds from all these plants to the Seedex?  Always assuming the
seeds don't abort, of course.  I plan to send the dracontium.  Should the
candidissimum & fargesii be sent as possible hybrids?  Should I send the fargesii
at all since I don't know that I have a second plant of it?

I suppose that many of the seeds received in the last few years are possible
hybrids--just when I thought I was getting enough information to be able to
identify some of the less obvious species!!

Jean Halverson, sw Wisconsin, zone 5a

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