Monday, December 7, 2009

What does Anubias sp. Frazeri hide from us?

For the last decades this Anubias became a customary attribute of many American pet shops. But at the same time there is a little information concerning this plant. Also it’s not clear, what place does Anubias sp. Frazeri take in the Anubias’ systematization. It’s also difficult for me to write this plant’s name correctly, whether as a breed or as a trade name. I couldn’t find any document about the registration of the breed Anubias ‘Frazeri’. So according to the diverse information I made a decision to add prefix “sp”, which means not fixed species.

There are some suppositions that this plant was named after the famous selectionist Edwin Frazer, who worked in Australia. It’s possible that Anubias sp. Frazeri is only a hybrid, which was created by Frazeri or by somebody else. I got to know about this Anubias 3 years ago. I received a parcel from one American online store and there was a little Anubias’ tiller with lanceolate leaves, reminiscent of A. barteri var. glabra or A. afzelii. In a half a year I was surprised to see, that there were small but distinct ears on the leaf at the base of lamina. Further cultivation showed that depending on conditions the laminae of this Anubias is very changeable. Even grown up plants have different leaf forms, from heart-shaped to auriculate. When at first time I saw these small ears I remembered the book by A. Engler “Das Pflanzenreich” and his A. auriculata Engler. Even now I think that Anubias sp. Frazeri can be a modern prototype of the A. auriculata.

For more assurance I needed the inflorescence of Anubias sp. Frazeri. In Internet I found only one photo, which was made by American fancier of the plants Cesar A. Castillo, but the quality of the picture wasn’t enough to scrutinize the structure of the male flower on cops. Later, my own plant made me happy with several inflorescences, which are similar with A. hastifolia according to their structure. In his revision W. Crusio had referred A. auriculata to this Anubias. The colour of the inflorescence was also changeable as the leaves. I saw the inflorescence with an outside reddish spatha, pink stigmas and stamens. Synandria consist of 4-6 adnate stamens. Thecae are situated on the edge or sometimes on one side of synandria. As the modern Anubias species’ identification criteria are quite wide and vague, so Anubias sp. Frazeri can be referred to A. hastifolia.

By semi aquatic cultivation Anubias sp. Frazeri is not a pretentious plant and it grows up quickly. The leaves are situated on the rhizome wide apart from each other and that’s why in short time this Anubias can embrace on a large area in florarium or paludarium.

The author of this note: Dmitry Loginov.

The author used info from the next Web pages: and

Translated from Russian by Julia Niklyaeva and Alexander Grigorov

Photos: Dmitry Loginov and Cesar A. Castillo.

Picture: page 8. Engler A. Anubiadeae. – Das Pflanzenreich. – Leipzig, 1915.

© Dmitry Loginov

© Alexander Grigorov

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