Alocasia reversa

Alocasia reversa, is an exotic plant from the genus Alocasia in the Araceae family group, which is native to the Philippines. This is a small Alocasia species from the lowland rainforest of Borneo. There the species grows on calcareous slopes, where it stays close to the ground due to its small size. The leaves can reach a size of 20 cm and are a striking sight. Unlike most Alocasia species, the leaves are light-colored and the veins are dark green. And this is reversed in other Alocasia species: hence the species name ‘reversa’.

This plant is sometimes referred to as Alocasia “Dewey’s” Reversa. Like the Alocasia genus, this species also has an exotic appearance, because the leaf shape is a mixture of peltate and non-peltate. The upper surface of the leaves is grayish and the veins are dark green to slightly bluish with a thin dark green decoration on the leaf margins. This plant will grow well in a shady place.

Alocasia reversa

kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Alocasia
Genus: Alocasia
Species: Alocasia reversa N.E. Brother

Synonyms: Alocasia “Dewey’s” Reversa


Small herb to ca. 35 cm tall (often less); rhizome short, condensed, erect to decumbent, ca. 3 cm diam.; leaves several together, irregularly interspersed with marcescent brown lanceolate cataphylls to ca. 7 cm long; petioles ca. 10-20(-30) cm long, sheathing in the lower ca. 10-15%; blades thinly leathery, in adult plants all peltate or (usually) mixed peltate and nonpeltate, occasionally none peltate, ovate to rather narrowly ovato-sagittate, 14 X 6 cm to 22 x 10 cm, widest at or slightly distal to junction of petiole, glossy dark green about the midrib and primary veins adaxially, the rest grey-green; anterior lobe acute, with the tip abruptly acuminate for ca. 1 cm; anterior costa with 3-4(-5) primary lateral veins on each side, diverging at ca. 90° proximally, the distal ones at ca. 60°, running almost straight to the margin and joining a submarginal vein; axillary glands not conspicuous; secondary venation fine, not forming interprimary collective veins, or these very poorly defined, flush with the lamina; posterior lobes about V2-2/5 the length of the anterior, united for 50-90% of their length or free, when maximally united the base of the lamina rounded except for an acute notch; posterior costae diverging at ca 15° when blade peltate, or at ca. 90° when not peltate but then soon curved back (so posterior lobes not widely divergent) and naked in the sinus for ca. 1 cm


Inflorescences 1-2 together, subtended by lanceolate marcescent brown cataphylls; peduncle ca. 10 cm long at anthesis, often exceeding the petioles at fruiting; spathe ca. 6 cm long: lower spathe ca. 2 cm long, ovoid, pale green; limb paler green to ivory edged purple with the colour extending into the constriction ventrally, at first erect, then sharply deflected, oblong lanceolate, mucronate for ca. 6 mm; spadix somewhat shorter than the spathe, white except for bright green ovaries, stipitate for ca. 3 mm; female zone 1 cm long; pistils somewhat loosely packed, flask-shaped, ca. 1.5 mm diam., facing obhquely upwards; style slender, ca. 0.5 mm long; stigma 2-lobed; sterile interstice ca. 4 mm long, not much attenuated and situated within the chamber of the lower spathe, lower synandrodia irregular in shape, ca. 2 mm diam., upper ones rhombo-hexagonal; male zone ca. 1 cm long, 4 mm diam., subcylindric, slightly constricted ca 2/3 from the base corresponding to spathe constriction; synandria rhombo-hexagonal ca. 2 mm diam., 4-6-merous, the thecae opening by apical pores, synconnective not expanded; appendix about isodiametric with male zone, ca. 2 cm long, gradually tapering to a blunt point, faintly longitudinally channelled; fruiting spathe broadly ovoid, ca. 2 cm long, eventually reflexed, pinkish to orange; berries bright orange to red.

The plant can be grown in an airy, permeable soil with coconut fiber, Sphagnum and perlite. If necessary, extra lime can be added, because the plant is used to this naturally. The soil can be a little drier between waterings, but it is important not to let it dry out completely. Furthermore the plant likes a light position without direct sunlight, a relatively high humidity (>70%) and a temperature of 22-28 deg C.

Sowing directions: The seed can be germinated in Sphagnum-moss at a temperature of 25-30 deg C. After the formation of the first roots, it can be transferred to a well-drained, airy soil.

Sowing period: Whole year
Difficulty: Intermediate
Minimum temperature: 15 degrees Celsius



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