A. triphyllum `Mrs. French's Veined'

Bonaventure W Magrys magrysbo at SHU.EDU
Mon May 22 22:26:52 CEST 2000

Hi Ellen,
Usually when a name is in tics (single quotes) it is a clonal name (or cultivar
- see lively discussion in the Aroid-L archives). If we want to distinguish a
certain form eg. albas, we can call it variety, such as the 2 plants of the
veined variety you have. Hopefully I got it right this time.
Is Arisaema triphyllum var. stewardsonii native to your area? In orchid species
"hybrid swarms" often appear, with much introgression between the parents, where
the range of two populations of closely related species overlap. It happens with
Sarrecenia species where they are grown in cultivation. Might be just a few
confused pollinators.
Pigmentless spathed (variety alba, or more correctly albescens)triphyllums bloom
here consistently a week to 10 days earlier than normal colored forms but in
morphology they are identical. (PS fruit set on them by candidissimum was
I read an article in Orchids magazine (might have been The American Orchid
Society Bulletin then, always known as "the Bulletin" to us old timers though)
written by Charles Sheviak, who studied Chinese and siberian populations of the
lady's slipper orchids Cypripedium calceolus and Cyp. macranthos (macranthum).
C. calceolus is rather uniform throughout Eurasia, but what was known as
calceolus in North America is wildly variable, being separated into varieties
pubescens and parviflorum (and now others) with the last two now as being given
species status. It turns out that neither C. pubescens or C. parviflorum, and
all their intermediate forms, exactly resemble or overlap with the Eurasian
version, Cypripedium calceolus. There are subtle morphological differences in
the flower. Now, - here's something for the AEG - they resemble the hybrid
between calceolus and macranthos and its introgression back with calceolus which
Charles Sheviak found fairly frequently in Siberia. He postulates that some time
in the past
this population colonized the Americas and is now in the process of its own
I want to know what the experts in the Group think of this - could something
similar have occured with Arisaema, perhaps with the ecosystem migrations of the
ice ages in Northeastern Asia, Siberia and the Bering Sea region giving rise to
our present day variable populations of Arisaema triphyllum? Similar species
(eg. A. amurense, and one from Japan I saw a photo of on the ID page with a
comment that it looks like triphyllum) exist there today. It is conceivable that
as the forests colonized the warming tundras during te warm periods different
groups came into contact with each other and squeezed into the tight land
corridor over to North America a vigorous hybrid population spread into the new

Ellen Hornig <hornig at OSWEGO.EDU> on 05/20/2000 06:41:22 PM
Please respond to "Arisaema Enthusiast Group (AEG) Discussion List (and other
hardy              Aroids)" <ARISAEMA-L at NIC.SURFNET.NL>

cc:  (bcc: Bonaventure W Magrys/ADM/SHU)

Subject:  A. triphyllum `Mrs. French's Veined'

I have two clones of this arisaema, one from John Gwynne, and one from a
gentleman in Ithaca, NY. As they open, I find that John's has an
all-green spathe, and the other has a purplish spathe.  Both have the pale
veination which distinguishes this selection.

So one question is: does anyone know which color spathe the
"original" had?  And the other is: has anyone tried growing these out from
seed to see whether the prominent veining comes true?

On a related note:  despite having been a fan of awarding A. triphyllum
ssp. stewardsonii separate species status, I now have to report that I am
seeing triphyllums in the woods that sure look like crosses between
stewardsonii and triphyllum ssp. triphyllum.....


Ellen Hornig
Seneca Hill Perennials
3712 County Route 57
Oswego, New York 13126 USA
USDA zone 5B (mintemps -10 to -20F)
Phone:(315) 342-5915
Fax: (315) 342-5573
Website: www.senecahill.com

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