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Ma. Cristina Sabado Militar, Aileen Cheng, Kathy Federigan, Maria Elena Delos Reyes, Sheila Quezon, Mark Angelo Cacatian
Base Species or Cultivar:
Scindapsus pictus Exotica
In 2022, a specimen was acquired from a seller located in the province of Balanga, Bataan. Initially acquired by Ms. Myrna Gonzales as Scindapsus pictus Exotica, this specimen later displayed mutations in her backyard. Ma. Cristina Sabado Militar managed to obtain a propagation of the same specimen and observed the identical mutations initially noted by the original owner. At present there are four generations of propagated specimens in circulation.
Tala is the daughter of the creator god Bathala and a mortal woman. She has two sisters, Mayari, the goddess of the moon, and Hanan, the goddess of the morning. In pre-colonial society, Tala played a vital role as a guiding force for ferrymen, using her star orbs to lead them safely. She was also credited as the creator of constellations.
Interestingly, the name "Tala" holds a double meaning in the Filipino language, as it translates to "star." This name is fitting because the leaves of this plant depict the entire life cycle of a star, from its initial formation (yellowish) to its status as a new star and ultimately to its final stage known as the white dwarf, representing the dying phase of a star.
This Scindapsus pictus cultivar prefers well-draining soil, tropical temperatures between 25˚C to 35˚C, humidity levels of 40-70%, and good air circulation. It thrives in a well-lit environment with some natural sunlight and grow lights, requires careful watering to prevent overmoistening, and can produce long, pointed leaves measuring 4-7 cm in length and 1.5-3.5 cm in width when given proper support for climbing.
Length: Young leaves are between 4-5 cm; Mature leaves are about 7 cm.
Width: Young leaves are about 1.5 cm; Mature leaves are about 3.5 cm.
This specific cultivar of Scindapsus pictus stands out due to its elongated, pointy leaves. Younger leaves are usually yellowish in color and become whiter as they mature. They are arranged alternately along the stem and have petioles for attachment, following a pinnate venation pattern. The leaves have a textured and matte surface, featuring raised sections with silver patterns. Throughout the leaf, white variegation is dominant while maintaining the characteristic green and silver colors typical of Scindapsus pictus plants.
Bloom and Fruit:
Not observed yet.
When comparing this specimen to Scindapsus pictus 'Mayari', several prominent differences become obvious. The most prominent distinction lies in the color, shape and texture of the leaves. Tala's mutated leaves consistently feature an elongated, pointed shape, in stark contrast to the round, heart-shaped leaves of Scindapsus pictus 'Mayari'. Another notable difference is in the leaf texture, where Tala's leaves display raised sections throughout.
The leaf color of Tala is a combination of dark green and silver, with the white variegation being prominently visible throughout the leaf. Younger leaves are initially yellowish in color and become whiter as they mature. Additionally, this cultivar showcases further variegation in the form of vertical lines along the petioles and stems, sometimes even having entirely white petioles or stems.