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Thu Mar 14 02:11:55 CET 2002

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From: Robin Bell <rgb2 at CORNELL.EDU>
Subject: Re: any spontaneous hybridization?
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I would like to chime in with a couple of comments based on
no knowledge of any Arisaemias anywhere in the wild but here, upstate
NY with triphylum & its congeners. For ehimense, hybridisation in the
wild could have taken place anytime within the last, well, shall we
say, 10,000 yrs. If it happened, the cross almost certainly would
have undergone its own pattern of evolution since then, more if it
were 10k, less if it were 5k or 1k yrs ago & so on. There is no
reason to believe it should now be distributed near/between its
putative parents, flower at the same time, or that it should not have
some unique features unless the hybridization took place last week (
geological time of course ). With time it could be barely
recognisable in its provenance. The only way this could really be
resolved, as with so many other species/hybrids questions, is by
molecular analysis & even then one needs parameters that have barely
been defined.
Perhaps the point is that it can be very difficult to
recognise what is happening in the field & that taxonomic criteria
are often not based on any knowledge of their real biological status.
I would be amazed if some of the evolutionary history of Arisaemias
does not include interspecific hybrids as well as most other
processes that lead to speciation in plants.
Since for me the appeal of Arums generally is related to
their bizarre/striking character, ( agree that sikokianum is
beautiful ), I am all for seeing what the hybridisers can produce
within & between species.
Spring in the air here, crocus, cyclamen & anemones doing their d=ance.
Robin Bell, Ithaca, NY. USA

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