----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, April 14, 2002 12:37
Subject: Re: How big is big enough? and
how tall do they get?
Dear Bernhard and randy,
This is going to be a MOST difficult one
to determine! Aroids are strange plants, and some will bloom
at a VERY early age/size, even the giant species! There are two
pages linked to the MOBOT aroid pages detailing two different A. titanum`s
that bloomed at a very small tuber size, and several other species (A. konjac
among them) have also bloomed when small/young. Cyrtosperma
cuspidispathum has been recorded blooming when only 6 " tall, this plant can
and will grow to over 3 m tall! Perhaps a big part of the
joy of growing these plants is in the 'surprise' of never knowing for sure
exactly when one will produce a bloom!!
This brings me to once more mention
something that has not been well recorded for most aroids, which is the
production of inflorsences by small or weak plants that only contribute pollen
to the reproductive 'chain'/gene pool. This is well recorded in
the genus Arisaema, where the 'normal' unisexual spadices (male above female
separate floral zones) are modified, the female zone is lacking in the flowers
borne by smaller, weaker plants, and these can only contribute pollen to the
gene pool, as these small plants do not have the tuber size/stored 'energy' to
be able to sustain an infructesence through it`s lengthy
development. I strongly believe that this occurs (does anyone
have records or references to this??) in genera that have bisexual spadices
such as Anthurium and Urospatha, Anaphyllopsis ond others. A
small, weak plant will bloom, but will only produce pollen. If
fertilized the fruit can and will not develop as the smaller weaker plant can
not sustain a developing infructesence.
Anyway, good luck with your quest for
information on blooming size, and the use of growth retardant on giant species
of Amorphophallus, though this aspect baffles me, I thought that the whole
'point' of obtaining a giant species was for it to grow TALL/BIG!
I think this is something most Amorphophallus
growers are interested in. The list you propose is a very good idea!
I would like to take the chance
to add the question how tall they get at a definite tuber size (lets say at
good light and growing conditions):
Would any one know, if there is a close correlation between tuber size
and PETIOLE HIGHT in Amorphophallus titanum?
If someone has figures or even an idea, I would be
very intersted. (It could tell me when to built a higher greenhouse for my
A.t. or do something different; see below)
I ask this in the same context as I asked for the effect of growth
retardants on the petiole hight of A.t. or other big aroids with a single leaf
some time ago. I did not get a response when I posted my question, but I think
it should work, since growth retardants generally inhibit cell elongation to a
certain extent. (Normally they are used in horticulture to shorten internode
length in ornamentals like Poinsettias and others)
Looking forward to any comment!
"Randall M. Story"
> I'm curious if there is any
interest in starting a discussion or compiling a
> list as to what constitutes "blooming size" for
various species. I'm
primarily of Amorphophallus and related stinky tuberous aroids,
> although it need not be
limited to these.
> I realize that estimates
depend on one's growing conditions, the particular
> cultivar, luck, etc. However even SOME guess as
to when a particular plant
"might" bloom, with a size range or "ballpark" number would be useful, to me
> at least. It would be nice to
know whether a particular tuber has a chance
> of blooming at 1 inch or 4 inches or not till 8
inches in diameter!
> This information seems
particularly hard to find, even more so than
> estimates of cold hardiness.
Do people think this is a good idea? If there is any interest, people could
> send me their experiences and
if I get enough responses I could post a list
> here. I'm guessing that even a short list of
the most commonly available
species could be useful to a lot of us.
> A specific
question I have at the moment: how big does an A. bulbifer tuber
> have to be to have some chance
> Randy Story