Saturday, July 5, 2008

Amorphophallus Update, July 5

Titan Arum at 67 inches (170 cm) tall, two inches taller than yesterday. UConn EEB greenhouse manager Clint Morse for scale.

This individual plant started life as a seed in 1994, from a batch of seed that was collected in the wild in Sumatra by the late James R. Symon, and distributed to various botanical gardens. UConn originally had eight plants [see correction by Clint Morse in the comments], but given space limitations, and the fact that the leaves of Amorphophallus titanum get to be 15 or 20 feet across, all but two plants got donated to other universities (UC Santa Barbara, Washington State U. Pullman, Wellesley, Smith, Duke and Harvard all received UConn Corpse Flowers).

Plant #5, the one still here at UConn about to flower again, first bloomed in July of 2004, at not quite ten years of age, which seems to be about the average time from seed to maturity for this species under glass. Plant #5 flowered again in May 2007, and our other Corpse Flower from 1994 (#3, which has always been a bit of a runt), first flowered in June 2007. Number 3 is the plant with the leaf that's lurking in the background of the photos of the bud, though you can't see it very well in today's image; it's behaving properly and sending up foliage in between blooms. I'd expect #3 to flower again in early 2010. I have no idea when #5 is going to bloom next, after two consecutive flowers.

1 comment:

Clinton Morse said...

We actually had more than 30 plants from the initial batch of seed in 1994. We gave away all but 8 to other university collections in 1995, then over the years between 1995 and 2004 we gave 6 of the remaining 8 away to the institutions mentioned by Matt.