Changing Alocasia odora to Alocasia gageana?

Alocasia from Tarlei’s pot on 6-2-12, #95-37.

Well, folks… I am somewhat confused. In the summer of 2011 when I was living at the mansion in Mississippi, I agreed to house sit several plants of good friends of mine from Greenville. Thomas and Tarlei Hitchcock had become very good friends, in fact Thomas was like a brother. Tarlei was an amazing lady! Anyway, I won’t go into all the details of our friendship right now. Tarlei passed away in 2012 after struggling with breast cancer. I could write a thousand words about her and Thomas and still have thousands more to go. She had the largest funeral I ever attended.

Thomas and Tarlei Hitchcock’s HUGE Philodendron bipinnatifidum on 8-19-11, #74-24.

One of her plants was this HUGE Philodendron bipinnatifidum in this HUGE pot. In 2012, I think, I noticed these little plants coming up. They looked like Alocasia because of their leaves and they pointed upward. At first I thought maybe they were babies of Philodendron and the leaves would eventually change… But, that didn’t happen. I asked Tarlei and showed them when they came for a visit. She had no clue and and she said she never had any Alocasia.

The tallest is 12 inches and the shortest is 6 inches on 7-2-12, #105-5.

They kept growing like crazy and they were definitely Alocasia. I sent photos to an aroid “expert” and he suggested they may be Alocasia odora. Well, I looked that name up on the internet and the leaf shape and everything did resemble my new found friends. Information online said they “could” grow to around 8 feet tall. YIKES!!! SO, I changed all the names on the photos to Alocasia odora… There weren’t many photos at the time, so it was no big deal.

The biggest at 22″ tall on 2-17-13, #139-52.

By the time I was about ready to move back to Missouri, the biggest was 22″ tall. I had this TERRIBLE decision to make and had to give away HUNDREDS of plants. But, I did take this one with me… It was cold besides that so I knew many of the plant would like the 8-9 hour drive in the back of a cold trailer. Not to mention I had no idea what I was going to do with them once I arrived at my parents home…

Alocasia odora on 6-1-13, #151-56.

I put the Alocasia odora pot in front of the sliding door the same night I arrived and the other Alocasia I moved to the basement along with MOST of the other plants I brought with me (I don’t remember how many). The above photo was taken on 6-1-13 and the other plants were already outside. She already had two babies…

Alocasia odora on 7-23-13, #164-8.

I had moved the other Alocasia close to this spot already, so I decided to put Alocasia odora there, too. Ummm… The plant looks taller than it really is because that is a small pot. She is only maybe 24″ here. When cooler weather came I took her back in the house and once again put her in the dining room.

I put the Alocasia odora into a larger pot in the spring of 2014. By July 12, 2014 when the above photo was taken, she and her babies had went bananas!

Well, over the 2014-2015 winter “someone” (not telling who) decided to move the pot into the front bedroom. Gradually, little by little, Alocasia odora showed her disapproval. In fact, the above photo looks good compared to what she looked like before I put her back outside.

By July 12, 2015, they were looking really good once again.

The above photo was taken on July 19, 2016… Yeah, I know the pot is getting full and I need to repot…

BUT, I didn’t until June 24, 2017… I removed 5 good sized plants and put them in their own pots and several other smaller ones, 3-4 per pot. I gave one of the larger pots away.

This photo was taken on 8-23-17, when I repotted the Alocasia ‘Calidora’. There are now 25 Alocasia odora, including the new babies in the larger pots.

Now, remember what i said before? Alocasia odora can grow up to 8′ tall… I have always wondered WHY “my” Alocasia odora have grown no taller than about 24″. Seemed a little weird to me. After 5 years, wouldn’t you think they would have gotten bigger? Look at the others and how HUGE they have grown to…

Well, today I was finishing up the page for the Alocasia ‘Calidora’, which is a hybrid between Alocasia gageana and Alocasia odora. Alocasia odora is commonly called the “GIANT UPRIGHT” Elephant Ear. Umm… Alocasia gageana is commonly known as the “DWARF” Elephant Ear. Folks, a light came on. Here I have been looking online for a species of Alocasia that are short and it was right in front of my face all the time. SO, I looked at photos and information online about Alocasia gageana and the leaves and everything look similar, just like Alocasia odora did in 2012. The big difference is their “approximate” full height. Alocasia gageana only grows from 2-4′ tall. SO far, that is the smallest Alocasia species I have found with green leaves and green petioles.

A week or so ago I sent the “expert” that suggested this plant was Alocasia odora in 2012… I told him about my puzzlement because they had not grown as tall as Alocasia odora should be… So far, no response. That doesn’t surprise me because he probably thinks I am an idiot.

So, if I do decide to change the name, I have to rename only 38 photos. That’s not near as bad as when scientific names change and I have a few hundred photos to rename.

Well, that’s it for now. I still have the aroid post to finish. I just got a little excited about possibly figuring out the real name of this plant. Am I sure? NO. Unless you buy a named plant, ever being sure of what you think is always questionable. NO, even though I may have the name, I am still open.

Well, I better stop for now. I am getting tired and think I better take a nap before dinner.

Take care, be blessed, happy, healthy and prosperous. Get dirty when you can and enjoy nature in all it’s amazement!


2 comments on “Changing Alocasia odora to Alocasia gageana?

  1. Kyle Hall says:

    I love reading your post, it only seems like yesterday we sat in that ole house and discussed so many different things. I always loved hearing about the plants most of all. Such wonderful memories!


    • KYLE HALL!!!! I have always wondered when you would start blogging, or at least vlogging? I am still waiting for some leaves of the Lenophyllum acutifolium (remember?). Nathan is in Mississippi now, I think close to Memphis. By the way, everyone, Kyle is like a son to me. He was one of the first to visit Suzanne and me after we moved to Leland, Mississippi. Thanks for the comment, Kyle! I hope to hear more from you as cooler weather will soon be here… I will be bored and miserable. Remember how my mood changes for a while when I can’t get my hands in the dirt?


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