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Alocasia robusta in bloom II - the sequel!

Posted by lariann z10 FL (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 29, 08 at 19:35

This Spring, I have my own A. robusta producing blooms, and not just one or two, but at least six! At this time I have an abundance of Alocasia plants in bloom, including a particularly desirable large and bullate A. x calidora F2 plant and A. 'Borneo Giant', as well as A. 'Imperial Giant' and A. inoranta. Crosses involving each of these will be attempted.

Close inspection of my rapidly growing A. x robudora plants indicates that some have a degree of powdery bloom on the undersurfaces of the leaves. This characteristic is unique to A. robusta and is never seen in A. odora. Some of the seedlinga are producing offsets already, while others are growing solitary. The bases of most are very thick when compared to A. robusta plants of the same size and age.

LariAnn
Aroidia Research


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Alocasia robusta in bloom II - the sequel!

Excellent work LariAnn , good luck with all the pollinations and I really hope I can get some of these future hybrids to grow in Australia .


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RE: Alocasia robusta in bloom II - the sequel!

Update:

This morning, pollen dropped on the first A. robusta inflorescence, so I grabbed my brush and scalpel, and began pollinating like a madwoman! I did the Big Mac (very similar to Borneo Giant), two odoras, Imperial Giant and Brisbane Waves. It'll be about a month before I know for sure if any or all of the crosses took.

LariAnn
Aroidia Research


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RE: Alocasia robusta in bloom II - the sequel!

Thanks so much for keep us all updated LariAnn. I hope every single cross you made takes. I would love to come and visit and see all the wonderful things you do. But since I cant Im thankful for the pictures you post. Good luck and keep letting us know whats going on. Someday I hope to have a few of your plants.

Jane


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RE: Alocasia robusta in bloom II - the sequel!

Update:

This morning, inflorescence #2 on my A. robusta dropped pollen, so once again I grabbed scalpel and brush and went to work. It was touch and go as earlier in the AM, a rain shower occurred and threatened to wash away the new A. robusta pollen! But the rain let up and I did A. portei, A. inoranta, A. macrorrhizos 'Big Mac', A. x calidora F2 'Bullate' and A. x calidora F2 'Green Giant' (a plant I think is a throwback to an ancestral form of A. odora).

LariAnn
Aroidia Research


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RE: Alocasia robusta in bloom II - the sequel!

LariAnn - Q about flowers:

I have several different Colo and Alo. Last summer one of my giant Colocasia started putting out blooms. I kept yanking them out in hopes of energy going towards leaves instead, but the flowers kept coming and each time a cluster of blooms formed, a new branch would also form and the 1st leaf of that branch was not as large as the older leaves before. Is it better to let the plant flower or should I continue de-blooming?

I also have A. x calidora indoors since the fall, awaiting warmer weather outdoors in the garden...all 5 of my plants are blooming now. Do they have the same physiology as Colocasia, where the bloom stalk also has a new leaf stalk with it? And should I snip off the blooms before they are fully formed or am I better off leaving them. My goal is max leaf growth, not flowers.

And one last question; what are those small triangular "things" found along the sides of Alocasia tubers? They almost look like buds of some sort but they never expand.

Thank you in advance.


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RE: Alocasia robusta in bloom II - the sequel!

Once the plants start blooming, taking the blooms off doesn't seem to make much difference, although it might cause the new growth to distort. The plant is in a hormonal state where bloom primordia are being initiated. This will not stop just by cutting off the blooms, but it will throw the plant's hormonal state out of balance.

In my experience, higher nitrogen fertilization encourages leaf growth and a tip of the balance towards phosphorus encourages blooming. Natural nutrient levels in soil will fluctuate annually and tend to coincide with the initiation of a blooming cycle.

In my situation, I want blooms so I'm concerned about trying to get the plants to bloom rather than discouraging them!

The triangular buds are buds that will start up if the main growing point is damaged, or if the trunk or rhizome falls over and becomes partly buried.

Hope this helps,
LariAnn
Aroidia Research

Here is a link that might be useful: Aroidia Research


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RE: Alocasia robusta in bloom II - the sequel!

Here's a photo showing the inflorescences on my Alocasia robusta this April, 2008:

Alocasia robusta blooms

LariAnn Garner
Aroidia Research


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RE: Alocasia robusta in bloom II - the sequel!

Alocasia x robudora update - March 2009:

Many of the original cross progeny are very large and blooming. I have bloom colors from deep red/purple to light pink, and at least one has a very arching spathe over the spadix, much like a jack-in-the-pulpit. Some blooms are 6 to 8 inches long and very showy. The plants are massive, but vary in how large they grew before first blooming. Cold weather (low to mid 30s) didn't bother them in the least; in fact, they all continued growing even in the cooler part of the winter. Two of the seedlings are producing pollen, raising hopes of an F2 generation. If I can get this to work, it will bring even more huge size back out in the F2.

This year will be the year for a lot of complex hybrids involving three or four different parents combined into one plant.

LariAnn Garner

Here is a link that might be useful: Aroidia Research


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