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Old 07-01-2010, 04:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Amorphophallus variabilis

So a few months ago, I attended a meeting for the International Aroid Society which was held at the Missouri Botanical Gardens here in STL. When I was there, I met the greenhouse manager from the school I go to. I had always seen the greenhouse by the road but hadn't ever gotten a chance to see inside it, so I asked if she would be willing to give me a tour. She agreed and while I was there, there was an Amorphophallus variabilis coming out of dormancy about to bloom. She graciously offered to give it to me (which I was very thankful for!). I've been interested in the Amorphophallus genus for some time now as they're such odd/unique plants. The titanum is the coolest by far, with flowers up to and exeeding 9' in height! Actually UMSL (the school I attend) was the first place to have a titanum bloom since 1939 when they had one bloom in the 90's.....probably UMSL's only claim to fame, but eh...still cool. The greenhouse manager had 3-4 very large titanums (one actually bloomed last year but I missed it!), many bulbifer and a bunch of other various species of that genus.

Sorry for all the background, but without further adieu....here is my Amorphophallus variabilis:
Here's the day I got it and potted it up.

Close-up of the stem.

Blurry close-up of the bloom (sorry, my cam sucks at close shots).

The bloom really didn't get much larger than that last picture, but opened up a little more. And OMG did it smell terrible! I was sleeping one morning when it started stinking....I couldn't figure out what it was for a minute. Smelled like rotting garlic and nasty, wet garbage. Quite heinous and aweful....that's when it got moved outside!

Here's what it looks like now. The leaves came out after it bloomed.


Does anyone else on the site grow any Amorphophallus varieties? Please feel free to share pics/stories, etc.
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

Sounds more like a devils tongue (cause it stinks) than a Voodoo Lilly :^)
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Old 07-01-2010, 06:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

I just saw the photos in "most recent photos" and did copy-paste-google. That's one incredible looking plant! Thanks for sharing the photos! Awesome bark/stem[?]! I needa get one of those so I can give my sis bouqets, lol! Nice work!
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abnshrek View Post
Sounds more like a devils tongue (cause it stinks) than a Voodoo Lilly :^)
I wasn't familiar with the term 'devils tongue' so I looked it up. Devils tongue is A. konjac (also sometimes called A. rivieri). As for 'voodoo lily' that is simply a name that refers to any Amorphophallus sp. Plenty of amorphophali (can I do a Latin plural there??) have mal-odored blooms...pretty sure it's a characteristic of the entire genus because they dwell on fly and insect pollination.

Oh...random cool fact. Amorphophallus only ever have one leaf at a time. The entire set of 'leaves' on such a plant is considered to be a single leaf which remains on the plant over an entire season! How's that for oddities!?
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

We used to have some different Amorphophallus sp. in the research greenhouses when I was at MBG. We also grew Dracunculus vulgaris out in some of the bulb beds. You could smell those things half way across the garden grounds! If you are ever there during the day, ask for Jason Delaney. He manages the bulb gardens and is very knowledgeable about plants.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

and this one the biggest amorphopalus namely amorphopalus titanum from Bengkulu Province. its buld growth in Bogor botanical garden West Java. already to blooming



regards
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

Thanks for the pic, Novi! Titanum is definitely an amazing plant! I want one so badly, but have to wait till I have the space to grow one in a greenhouse and can keep a 10' plant alive all winter in this area.

And Brent, yeah, I've seen said greenhouses (we went behind the scenes at MOBot when I was at that IAS meeting!). Dr. Croat has an incredible collection of aroids!!!

Here are some pics of the Amorphophallus Titanum bloom that I missed last year at UMSL

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Old 07-01-2010, 10:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

Great pic. I have amorphoplaus mulerii in Tc jars and will start wit a variabilis and also a titanum.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

I wouldn't mind sourcing A. bulbifer if you have a resource! *hint hint* LOL
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

I love my A. konjac. It hasn't bloomed yet (I've had it for 3 years). It is hardy here, although it doesn't show until late; this year it popped out on June 30th! I did plant it in the back of the yard so any aroma from future blooms doesn't cause much distress. My dear sweet 90 yearr old Mom calls it the "penis plant".
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltydad View Post
My dear sweet 90 yearr old Mom calls it the "penis plant".
LMFAO!!! Well, technically, speaking Latin/medical terminology, 'a' means without, 'morpho' means shape and 'phallus' means penis.....so Amorphophallus literally means 'shapeless penis!' Pretty hilarious...not gonna lie!
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

Very neat! Please send photos of it later in the summer.
It may just be the photos or the growing conditions, but it looks like a Pseudodracontium to me.
Here's variabilis IAS: Amorphophallus variabilis
Here's Pseudodracontium IAS: Pseudodracontium harmandii

Then again it just might be my old eyes aren't any good!
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Amorphophallus variabilis

Quote:
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It may just be the photos or the growing conditions, but it looks like a Pseudodracontium to me.
Hmmm...after looking up more pics of pseudodracontium, I'm starting to believe that is indeed what I have. I was just going on the ID I was told when given the plant (and what the tag said)....but apparently it was an incorrect ID. Thanks for the info!
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