Pinellia cordata

Roy Herold
Tue, 31 Oct 2006 05:04:24 PST
Well, I never expected to have my name mentioned so many times in the 
course of a PBS thread. Go figure.

I believe most of the facts (or assumptions) regarding P. cordata have 
already been presented. The first thing that everyone who grows the 'Roy 
Herold' form should do is change the label to P. cordata 'Yamazaki'. As 
John Grimshaw mentioned, both he and I acquired it from the ARGS seedex 
in 1992. I had never grown P. cordata before, and had no idea that the 
'seeds' were really bulbils (or tubercles as John calls them). As the 
plants matured, I was impressed by the fact that the leaves had 
wonderful silver markings, and were the most attractive of aroids that I 
had encountered. Then there were the great tropical fruit (or bubble gum 
or whatever) scented flowers...

I first remember seeing other forms of P. cordata on a trip to Japan in 
1995, where it was common as a small pot plant in nurseries and on 
doorsteps. I really didn't think all that much of them, as the smallish 
(maybe 4" x 1") leaves were not that well marked, and puny compared to 
the ones on my plant which commonly reached 8" x 3". I believe I saw the 
same small form at Don Jacobs' nursery.

I never ventured to grow it outside here (N of Boston, Zone 5b/6a) until 
I encountered the small form growing happily outside in a number of 
gardens and nurseries in Ann Arbor, MI. I put a few of mine out, where 
the main tuber promptly died, but the little tubercles found there way 
to better locations and they kept going. Most of mine are still in pots, 

John G. and I later discovered that both of us had a superior form, and 
confirmed they were the same clone by exchanging tubers. In seeking a 
name for this form, I went back to the seedex list and found that they 
had been donated by a Mr. Yamazaki in Japan. I wrote him to ask 
permission to use his name for the cultivar but received no reply, 
probably due to the language. John went ahead and used the name in his 
article, and I guess we're still trying to make it stick.

Regarding cultivation, I have found that they do like cool summers and a 
well drained situation. This summer, which was particularly hot and 
humid here, they went dormant quite early, probably early August. During 
cooler times, they go right up to frost. Also, I have never seen them 
set seed but once, and that was on a single inflorescence. I sowed the 
seed, they germinated, and the offspring were identical to the parent.

As for sources, I believe Ellen Hornig has sold Yamazaki from time to 
time (didn't check her latest list). I should be able to find a bunch of 
Yamazaki tubercles that I can send in for the BX, but probably not til 
December after I return from South Africa. Anybody in ZA who wants some?


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