unknown aroid

Found on the web by Steve Marak on 2011-01-21 [link]
I've seen several web hits today on this topic, all of which seem to wind up at the same text.
The articles all call the plant an "arum lily", don't give a genus or other botanical information,
say that it was found in the Kimberly region by Matthew Barrett (Perth's Kings Park & Botanic Garden)
along with other various new species in that remote area,
and that the infloresence smells of burnt electrical wire.


2011-01-21 Peter Boyce: One of several new Australian "Typhonium". May not be too long in waiting.
"Things" are afoot with Aussie "Typhonium", with a paper just published
that convincingly shows the Australian ones not to belong to Typhonium,
plus Lazarum mirabile has recently been investiagated molecularly, plus Matthew Barrett is very active.

2011-01-21 Michael Pascall: Most likely a Typhonium, I got a few tubers of a much larger sp.
from the Northern Territory a few years ago. They can be very difficult to keep alive.
Probably be 10 years before we got a name for it.
Alistair Hay is in Columbia at the moment, he might have a comment to make on it later.

2011-01-21 Alan Galloway: Looks like a new species of Typhonium.

2011-01-21 Marek Argent: It seems to be a species of Sauromatum, but I have no idea which one.

2011-01-21 James Waddick: I thought it looked sort of Typhonium like and found this later [link]
and if you Google "New Typhonium Species in Northern Australia
you'll get descriptions of T. taylori, T. jonesii and T. mirabile.
There's at least 20 Typhonium species in Australia and new ones pop up fairly regularly.

2011-01-21 Arden Dearden: Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
It appears to be an aroid that I saw in Kununurra in 1987 when I worked there.
it appeared to be a Typhonium. There were some new species described at the time by Alistair Hay.
It may already be described. It grew in thje loamy soil and only appeared when the wet arrived.
It grew with a native Tacca which the aboriginal people used as a bush potato.
They had no recorded use of the Typhonium.

2011-01-23 Wilbert Hetterscheid: There is a lot going on in the systematics (taxonomy) of Typhonium.
It is time I gave you a rundown of what has happened the last year when
two significant but very contrary papers have appeared on Typhonium.
As a very short first warning: Typhonium s.l. (sensu lato = in the wider sense) has been split up in 3 genera,
Typhonium s.str. (sesu stricto = in the strict sense), Sauromatum (there it is again, resurrected) and "The Aussies".
Matthew Barrett (mentioned on the website with the discussed Typhonium picture from Kimberley)
is presently revising the Australian group, which turned out to be independent
in evolutionary terms of Typhonium s.str. and Sauromatum.
Therefore this Aussie group will get a new name and the first name available for it is probably Lazarum,
a genus published for L. mirabile by Alistair Hay, several years ago.
What brought this about?
You may remember that Peter Boyce and myself (Aroideana 23, 2000) considered on morphological grounds only,
that Sauromatum and Typhonium were too much alike to be kept separate.
Not to say that there were no differences at all but they seemed insignificant at the time.
The molecular revolution in plant systematics has finally also reached Typhonium and in 2010
two papers on this subject were published within a few weeks of each other.
First came:
Cusimano, N., M.D. Barrett, W.L.A. Hetterscheid & S.S. Renner:
A phylogeny of the Areae (Araceae) implies that Typhonium, Sauromatum,
and the Australian species of Typhonium are distinct clades. TAXON 59 (2). April 2010: 439-447.
A few weeks later:
Ohi-Toma, T., S. Wu, S.R. Yadav, H. Murata & J. Murata:
Molecular Phylogeny of Typhonium sensu lato and Its Allied Genera in the Tribe Areae
of the Subfamily Aroideae (Araceae) Based on Sequences of Six Chloroplast Regions.
Systematic Botany (2010), 35(2): pp. 244-251.
The basic conclusions of Cusimano et al. are that Sauromatum is not part of Typhonium and has to contain 9 species
we now know mostly as Typhonium or Sauromatum (S. brevipes, S. brevipilosum, S. diversifolium, S. gaoligongense,
S. giganteum, S. hirsutum, S. horsfieldii, S. tentaculatum, S. venosum).
Another conclusion is that the endemic species of Australia are not closely enough related
to Sauromatum or the remaining Typhoniums, to be part of either.
So it will have to be a separate genus with its own evolutionary status.
Matthew is presently revising all Aussies and when it is certain that Lazarum mirabile
(renamed to Typhonium mirabile by Peter Boyce and myself in 2000)
also belongs to this group then the names of all Aussie Typhos will change to Lazarum.
Let's wait for Matthew's work to be published and see.
That leaves all other former Typhonium species as "proper" Typhonium.
The Japanese paper is based on much less material and no Australian ones at all.
The evolutionary diagram has a number of unresolved areas and unfortunately,
the authors still felt it necessary to divide Typhonium s.l. in no less than 5 genera, of which three new ones,
Diversiarum for T. diversifolium, T. alpinum), Pedatyphonium for T. horsfieldii, T. larsenii, T. kunmingense,
T. calcicolum, T. omeiense
(all these species in my own mind are one T. [Sauromatum as per Cusimano et al.] horsfieldii,
and Hirsutiarum for T. hirsutum and T. brevipilosum (both Sauromatum acc. to Cusimano et al.).
In short, where Cusimano et al. have expanded Sauromatum on the basis of a fully resolved evolutionary scheme,
Ohi-Toma et al. found an unresolved scheme and still decided to create new genera for several Sauromatum species.
A decision to create genera based on an unresolved evolutionary scheme is, to say the least, ill-advised.
Unresolved evolutionary relationships await further analysis to create a more stable scheme
and only then is it useful to make taxonomic decisions leading to changing nomenclature.
To boot, the new generic names by Ohi-Toma et al. are all invalidly
published because they made a crucial citation mistake with every one of them.
The recently published English edition of the Flora of China follows the Cusimano et al.
taxonomy and will stand as an authoritative publication.

2011-02-06 Alistair Hay: Thanks Wilbert :) but one tiny point of correction. It is Typhonium mirabile (A. Hay) A. Hay...
If you made the same combination in 2000, yours is an isonym...
You are very polite about the Japanese paper. I am astonished it was published in systematic botany at all.
What will be intriguing will be to see how these molecular clades are going to be distinguished morphologically.

2011-02-06 Wilbert Hetterscheid: This is indeed true. I was writing in the spur of the moment I guess.
Indeed, Peter and I did not recombine L. mirabile to T. mirabile but you yourself,
the Inventor of Lazarum. Must feel good to have this name reinstated again, I guess.
Thus far it seems quite difficult indeed to separate Lazarum from Typhonium s.str.
Distinguishing Sauromatum s.l. from Typhonium s.str. works [sort of]
(see Flora of China and the Cusimano et al. paper).

2011-02-08 Peter Boyce (a fragment): Perhaps it's better to say 'conveniently recognizable' genus.
In large part the problem is that increasingly 'invisible characters' such as molecular data
are being used to generate phylogenies from which we then attempt to create taxonomic frameworks.
The transition from phylogeny to taxonomy involves delimitating outputs (crown clades)
into tangible taxa and it often forces us to observe and describe and explain minute
(but for that no the less critical) subtleties of morphological expressions.

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