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Re: [aroid-l] Pleasant smell of Arum dioscoridis?

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Pleasant smell of Arum dioscoridis?
  • From: Marc Gibernau gibernau@cict.fr
  • Date: Mon, 07 Apr 2003 11:52:40 +0200

Dear Krzysztof,

Apparently in Arum, there are two kinds of odour: 
- one produced by the appendix (towards outside): it can be pleasant or
foul smelling according to the kind of pollinators attracted.
- one produce in the floral chamber (certainly by the male flowers): it's
always pleasant (emission of (sesqui)-terpenoid: bicyclo-germacrene).

The odour of A. dioscoridis var dioscoridis has been analysed and the
appendix emitted a mix: p-cresols, decene, dimethyloctadienes, 2-heptanone
and ethanol. Such odour can be described as donkey-dung odour, attracting
dung-breeder flies and beetles.
The odour of A. diocoridis var philistaeum has also been analysed and
appears to be different from the previous variety in containing various
esters of butanoic acid and lacking the three first compounds in the above

I suggest for more details that you have a look at the great work of
Geoffrey Kite and collaborators published in 1998 in a book entitled
Reproductive Biology (Kew) on inflorescences odours and pollinators of Arum
and Amorphophallus.

All the best,


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