Alocasia longiloba Miq.
Synonym: Alocasia lowii Hook
Until recently this specimen was considered a separate species. Botanist Alistair Hay's recent revision has now included A. lowii into Alocasia longiloba. Alocasia longiloba is a species plant collectors just can't seem to decide what the correct name should be, but Alistair's revision should now settle the confusion. Until Hay's revision, some collectors had already decided to considered the species to be Alocasia longiloba, but as with many species there continues to be a great deal of confusion. Alocasis logniloba is easy to grow but has relatively fragile leaves. The leaves, which are burgundy on the underside, tear easily even under the pressure of a garden hose. Too much sun will also cause them to loose much of their color and become a faded green.
The plant is said to have originated in SE Asia in tropical Malaysia and Indonesia but botanist Dr. Tom Croat has collected the species in Australia. Alocasia species are known to be highly variable and not every leaf of every specimen will always appear the same. This link explains in greater detail the scientific principle of natural variation and morphogenesis. Click here.
Our experience has shown Alocasia longiloba prefers plenty of water provided you grow it it fast draining soil. Most plants available today are tissue cultured "clones" and in some cases may be hybrid combinations of several species. This Alocasia can take on a variety of shapes as it grows in size up to 20 inches (50cm).
Regardless, it is a beautiful Alocasia in a tropical garden or atrium.
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