Thursday, July 3, 2008

Amorphophallus Update, July 3

63.5 inches (161 cm), two inches taller than yesterday. Note the flowering Amorphophallus bulbifer plants at the base of the Titan.

The Corpse Flower is getting pretty close to opening; it wouldn't particularly surprise me if it popped for Independence Day. In the closeup of the edge of the spathe at left, you can see that the coloration is getting more intense, and also that the frills are relatively loosely appressed to the spadix, compared to a few days ago. In previous years, the first sure sign that an A. titanum bloom was going to open was a more definite pulling away of the spathe, in the early to mid-afternoon before the flowering. In the closeup, you might also notice some grayish patches on the inflorescence, which is damage from thrips. We've seen this in past flowers, and while it's annoying, the level of damage hasn't been such that we've wanted to risk spraying. Usually, thrips in the UConn greenhouses are knocked down pretty quickly in warmer weather by a predatory insect, Orius, but the orii seem to be slacking off this year.

The greenhouse will be open to the public through the holiday weekend for Titan Arum viewing, until the flowering is finished. Hours are listed on the EEB Greenhouse website. On the day the bloom opens, whenever that is, we'll hang around to let people in at least until midnight. The greenhouses are located behind the Torrey Life Science building, which is 75 North Eagleville Rd, Storrs, Ct 06269.

No comments: