Alocasia reginula "Black Velvet"

Alocasia reginula "Black Velvet"

Alocasia reginula

This beautiful little Alocasia is probably the most well known of what I refer to as the "jewel" Alocasias. These are diminutive plants when compared to the larger types such as Alocasia odora; as you can see in the picture, this plant in a 6" azalea pot is mature enough for blooming. They do prefer shade; the one in the picture was placed in sun just for the shot. The plant shown in the second picture has subtle differences when compared to the first one, indicating that more than one clone or variety is available.

As desirable as these plants are, they can be very difficult to keep alive because they are susceptible to root and basal rot infections, especially when overwatered. The trick here is what I mean by "overwatered". Basically, if you water this plant the same as you water the larger Alocasias, you are overwatering it. The jewel Alocasias in general need to be allowed to dry out between waterings a lot more so than the other types. Also, they are best kept indoors or in a greenhouse so as to prevent them from being overwatered by rainfall. Their soil must be a very well draining mix.

Alocasia reginula top

The picture below shows developing berries and inflorescences on A. reginula. These berries resulted from applying A. rugosa pollen.

Alocasia reginula infl

The plant illustrated above was lost to root rot shortly after the picture was taken; the berry stalk was removed and brought to maturity in a vial with water and nutrients.

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