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RE: Dead Horse Arum

  • Subject: RE: Dead Horse Arum
  • From: "Deni Bown" <deni@yaxhampark.co.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 12:01:39 -0500 (CDT)


Congratulations on your event and pictures, and many thanks for sharing
them. Helicodiceros has been high on my list of favourites for many years,
and I'll never forget the first time I came across it in flower. It was in
Oxford Botanic Gardens, in the Alpine House of all places, with its pot
buried in the display area, looking for all the world as if something from a
horror movie had joined the primulas and dionysias. I didn't know much about
aroids then, and had never heard of this one, so you can imagine my
surprise. While I stood there aghast and unbelieving, several other people
filed past to see the wonderful show of jewel-like alpines, neatly set in
the gravel, and they too were visibly shocked by it. Guess someone in the
Alpine Dept. had a warped sense of humour!

Seeing the dead horse arum was one of the 'road to Damascus' events that
changed me into an aroid fanatic. It became one of my 'holy grail' plants
and at last I got one of my own, flowered it several times, and photographed
it (the photos in Aroids - Plants of the Arum Family are of my plant), so I
know just what you went through! Then one winter I lost it. It was growing
in a pot as I had no suitable garden at the time, and I think it succumbed
from damp while dormant. Tragedy! But now I have three minute tubers, thanks
to Wilbert, so am hopeful the dead horse arum will ride again.

Deni Bown

-----Original Message-----
From: aroid-l@mobot.org [mailto:aroid-l@mobot.org]On Behalf Of Alan
Sent: 26 April 2001 16:20
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L
Subject: Dead Horse Arum

A few years back, a fellow Aroid-l-er shared some tubers of  Helicodiceros
with the list.  The tubers that I received were planted in the garden here
in Raleigh, NC,
USA (USDA Zone 7) and the plants have gotten larger and larger each year.  A
days ago one plant reached its maturity by producing an inflorescence.  I've
posted a
few pictures of this awesome flower on my web site at:


The flower is much larger than I expected and the odor so much worse than I
anticipated.  Of all the aroids that have bloomed for me, this is the worst!
It even
outranks Amorphophallus paeoniifolius, which almost makes me hurl breakfast.

If you notice the latter pictures, where the spathe has been cut open, the
substance is the eggs of flies.  Of all the aroid flowers that I have
photographed, many
have had flies and other insects crawling all over the 'naughty bits', but
this is the first where
the flies have actually laid their eggs.

Now, if I can tolerate the odor long enough to collect some pollen.

Alan Galloway
Raleigh, North Carolina

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