Baroque Sword, Purple Sword, Silver Sword
Alocasia lauterbachiana (Engl.) A. Hay is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species. It was described as such by Alistair Hay in Aroids of Papua New Guinea in 1990. It was first described as Schizocasia lauterbachiana by Heinrich Gustav Adolf Engler in Botanische Jahrbuecher fuer Systematik in 1898. Second, it was described as Xenophya lauterbachiana by Dan Henry Nicolson in Blumea in 1968. Another synonym is Alocasia wavriniana by Mast. in Garden Chronicles III in 1898.
I bought my Alocasia lauterbachiana from Wellspring Gardens in the spring of 2009. I first planted all the new Alocasia under a Crape Myrtle Tree behind the den. I later moved them to the west side of the house next to the west sunroom because I didn’t think they were getting enough sun. They did better.
Since the information I had read said that Alocasia can go dormant at 45 degrees, when the temps started getting cooler I dug them up and put them in pots and took them inside for the winter. Most of them went dormant anyway, including Alocasia lauterbachiana.
It was kind of funny, though. I was new to Alocasia and when they went dormant I thought they were dead. I stacked the pots, one on top of the other, and when I was moving them in the spring, Alocasia lauterbachiana was coming up.
Although the Alocasia lauterbachiana went dormant over there winter, it came back up again when it was ready. I put it in the ground, pot and all, in a new bed I had made in front of the den. I know it sounds weird to put pot and all into the groundm but I was experimenting. The plant was 6″ tall x 8 1/2″ wide when the above photo was taken on September 15, 2010. I didn’t take many photos in 2010.
According to most websites, Alocasia lauterbachiana can grow to a height of 18-48″. Probably depends on the location, size of the pot, what it is growing in, water, etc. It does well in part to full shade. It is cold hardy in USDA Zones maybe 9-11.
We made it through the winter without going dormant and the Alocasia lauterbachiana was going very well. I put it back in the ground, in the same bed as in 2010. The above photo was taken on August 1, 2011.
Once again we made it through another winter without going dormant and Alocasia lauterbachiana is really looking GREAT! The above photo was taken on June 2, 2012.
Umm… Alocasia lauterbachiana was doing something weird. I thought it was producing flowers but they didn’t open… SO, I have no idea. If anyone has experienced this, I would like to know.
The Alocasia lauterbachiana on the back steps of the mansion on August 12, 2012. I had to borrow a friends camera when the above photo was taken. I didn’t realize his settings had not been set.
I moved the plants inside once temps started getting cooler AGAIN. The above photo is the first offset for my Alocasia lauterbachiana on 11-23-12.
I moved back to the farm in mid-Missouri in February 2013. I gave away hundreds of plants, but I did bring most of my Alocasia, including this one. It didn’t like the 8-9 hour 30 degree trip in the back of a trailer and soon went dormant. I had put the Alocasia, and most all the plants, in the basement until they could be moved outside. When temps warmed up Alocasia lauterbachiana started coming back to life.
SSSLLLOOOWWWLLLYYY but surely by July 14, 2014.
Much better by August 23, 2013 when the above photo was taken.
Even though several months had gone by and there were three offsets, the main plant did NOT come back to life. My theory is DO NOT let your Alocasia go dormant… The other weird thing was that one of those offsets was the first to come up in June but it had a hard time growing.
By September 17 when the above photo was taken, the Alocasia lauterbachiana was looking very good.
When temps started getting cooler I had to bring my plants inside AGAIN. I put the Alocasia lauterbachiana and Alocasia gageana in front of the sliding door in the dining room. The rest of the Alocasia went in the basement. While Alocasia gageana did great, Alocasia lauterbachiana DID NOT approve and was dormant by the time winter was over.
I do believe it came back up once it was outside during the summer of 2014 but it just couldn’t get with the program…
I will definitely find another Alocasia lauterbachiana someday because I really like this species. If you have questions, comments or suggestions about this species, I would love to hear from you.