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Amorphophallus gigas at Fairchild Tropical Garden 8/8/2000

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Amorphophallus gigas at Fairchild Tropical Garden 8/8/2000
  • From: "FTG Conservatory, Craig Allen" <conserv@netrox.net>
  • Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2000 16:29:27 -0500 (CDT)

The current information on the blooming Amorphophallus gigas at Fairchild
Tropical Garden, Miami, Florida are:

FG 941491E = 108"      The spadix is fully extended and the spathe has
opened as much as this species does. I smell a bit of the odor this
afternoon, but not the full sensory experience I am expecting.

FG 941491C = 103"    This is the much heavier plant. The spadix is emerging
from the top of the spathe. It looks like it might be a little deformed. The
slender tip is bent over and growing a little weird, but the inflorescence
is still very impressive. The spathe is still wrapped around the base of the
spadix.

An added item of interest: The Amorphophallus titanum FG 931146B "Mr.
Stinky" that bloomed in 1998 went dormant about a month ago. Yesterday we
removed the tuber from its 36 inch container in preparation for repotting.
It was no easy task. The tubers expansion had compressed the soil at the
sides of the pot and it wasn't easy to dig out with my hands. I was afraid
to use tools in fear of damaging the large dormant tuber. When it was
finally pulled free I could hardly lift the huge mass. I had to get Derreck
Colebrooke a visiting horticulturist from the Bahamas to help me move it. It
was much to big for the sink, so I put it on a bench outside the
Conservatory to wash the remaining soil off. Each time it was moved, we
placed it on a cushion to insure we didn't jar the delicate internal
structure. I've heard how easy it is to seriously damage these huge tubers.

I wasn't ready for how much this monster had grown. It was so heavy that I
wasn't sure my scale would weigh it. The cleaned and dried tuber weighed 68
pounds and was 20" across. That is an increase in 6" and 32 pounds since
last year. With that kind of energy stored, I see no reason why it shouldn't
bloom next year, or who knows, maybe later this year. The larger the tuber,
the more irregular the dormancy cycle seems to get. The tuber will be moved
into a 42" pot when it's delivered Wednesday. I don't know where my Titan
will move in the future, 42" is the largest decorative pot available to me,
but I suppose it's a nice problem to have.

Craig M. Allen
Conservatory Manager
Fairchild Tropical Garden
10901 Old Cutler Road
Coral Gables, Florida 33156-4296
Tel. 305-667-1651 ext. 3320
Fax 305-661-8953
e-mail conserv@netrox.net
web: www.ftg.org






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