A little OT - perpetuation of species

ohmybloomers(7a)November 3, 2012

I've started writing a book about a group of "hoyaphiles" for National Novel Writing Month (maybe some of you know about this? It's quite cool). Anyway, part of my premise involves the rumored existence of a descendent plant of one of Robert Brown's hoya discoveries in Australia in the early 1800s. In my story, this rumored plant goes by the name of H. brownii, but since it's never been proven to exist, it's never actually been published. So it's kinda like the Holy Grail of the hoya world.

Anyway, in my novel it really does exist and becomes the subject of a madcap hoya theft.

Questions:

(1) How possible is it that a plant from two hundred years ago could have been perpetuated in its original state and retain the same characteristics as the original?

(2) If it's possible, what would be the mechanism of perpetuation? Quarantine from other hoyas maybe, to prevent cross-breeding? Kept in a greenhouse by itself, with polliators like moths?

(3) Would "H. brownii" be a correct naming? I'm still confused about how hoyas end up as "-ii", "-ae", "-is", etc.

(4) How could the owner prove that it really was the elusive H. brownii?

Yes, I am turning into a crazy hoya geek. Thanks in advance for weighing in!

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rennfl

(1) How possible is it that a plant from two hundred years ago could have been perpetuated in its original state and retain the same characteristics as the original?

of course, that is how species exist in nature.

(2) If it's possible, what would be the mechanism of perpetuation? Quarantine from other hoyas maybe, to prevent cross-breeding? Kept in a greenhouse by itself, with polliators like moths?

Self pollination - with human intervention. Basically a person would have to pollinate it with it's own pollinia. And when the seeds are ready, grow them on.

(3) Would "H. brownii" be a correct naming? I'm still confused about how hoyas end up as "-ii", "-ae", "-is", etc.

don't know enough latin, but this is easily looked up. search on botanical nomenclature rules.

(4) How could the owner prove that it really was the elusive H. brownii?
Realistically no one could, since it had never been published. But I guess you could go with various people's journals or letters - things like that.

Another idea, might be easier, is to have the actual plant that he discovered, instead of a descendent.

Good luck, sounds like fun.

Renee

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 10:00AM
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emt23(5)

Besides sounding like fun, feed me, came to mind. I would love to read it when you are done! Best wishes with the project. ~ Mary

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 10:51AM
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ohmybloomers(7a)

Thanks - it is a ton of fun! If it ever actually gets finished, edited, and fit for another pair of human eyes, I'll make it available.

I'm showing my botanical naivete here, but really? It's possible for a hoya to be 200 years old? Not just oak trees (I'm thinking of the 500 year old oak in Gulfport, MS)? Would there actually be original vines/leaves?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 12:42PM
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mdahms1979

You can propagate Hoyas from cuttings and keep a plant going for a very long time, no need to resort to using seed propagated plants.

The Latin suffix ii would be correct to assign to the plant if Mr. Brown had discovered and described it. If the plant had never been described then perhaps someone in your book could finally rediscover and describe the plant and name it after Mr. Brown.

Check out the link I posted about long lived organisms. I am happy they included the Tasmanian Lamatia because when I first heard about that plant I was just completely amazed.

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Worlds oldest living organisms

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 1:43PM
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