Saturday, March 14, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

A few weeks ago I purchased a nice, blooming-size Amorphophallus konjac tuber at a garden expo. I've grown this species for years and while my plants enjoy reproducing vegetatively with offsets they don't seem particularly interested in growing big tubers that will flower. This one is obviously going to flower because when I got it the bud was already a few inches above the tuber. Now, I know full well that as a fly-pollinated species A. konjac attracts it little winged matchmakers by smelling like carrion. Of the species I have, A. dunnii is the only one that has flowered with any regularity and it actually smells OK--a little closer to what we think of as "floral." It also has always flowered in late spring or summer. I didn't follow the thought to the logical conclusion until my friend, Matt pointed it out to me: this puppy is going to flower before the weather is warm enough to put it outside. A week ago it seemed to perk up and resume its flower formation. Today it's 10.5" and growing. Will I find a suitable place for it when the bloom opens and fills the air with a rotten stench? Will it catch me off guard making our home smell like roadkill? (This once happened with a Typhonium. Not recommended.) Stay tuned for further floral developments.

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