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Re: [Aroid-l] Dr. Jim Symon/Titan blooming

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Dr. Jim Symon/Titan blooming
  • From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo@msn.com
  • Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2006 12:18:53 +0000

From : 	<plantguy@zoominternet.net>
Reply-To : Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent : Saturday, August 19, 2006 6:48 PM
To : "Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Subject : Re: [Aroid-l] Brooklyn Titan blooming

A Hello to ALL my friends on Aroid-L,

Too true, Dan, it certainly is wonderful to see a man like Alan Galloway`s efforts and hard work acknowledged by Dave Horak who works for such a major Bot. Garden. VERY well done, Alan, Dave and Dan!!
While we are on this subject, I`d like to take the opportunity to bring up the name of one of if not the first person responsible for these now seemingly common events, the blooming of the icon of all aroids, Amorphophallus titanum. He was Dr. James (Jim) Symon, who pased away on Oct. 21st., 1995. I think that what I wrote as my dedication on one of my papers published in Aroideana back in 1997 says it all and bears repeating at this time---

"I wish to dedicate this work to my friend, Dr. James Symon who has given his all to investigate the species of giant Amorphophallus and to bring them into cultivation via their seeds, all at his own expense. He has brought happiness to many of his colleagues and to myself, but the final fruits of his dream will only arrive when these seeds of A. titanum, A. gigas and others, so joyfully collected and generously given, grow to maturity and produce their magnificent inflorescences and their powerful odor can be experienced by the masses!"

If at all possible, could the people who now have plants of these giants that have bloomed or are blooming let us know, and more importantly, KEEP RECORDS of where the seeds of these plants originated, as I do know that besides Jim, a very few others, perhaps Alan, did manage to collect and distribute seeds of these plants, and that the now-famous Craig Alen actually produced a large number of viable seed from hand-pollination of plants of A. titanum grown from wild-collected seed ex: Jim while Craig was at Fairchild Gardens in Miami (Craig also bloomed A. gigas!!), but it would be good to have some sort of record, much like a stud book kept by zoos on rare animals, for these rare plants in our care.
Dan, please keep us informed of how the event goes and how well the plant does, as one of the blooming events at Fairchild was 'spoilt', it was suspected, by the moving of the plant with a seemingly mature bud ALMOST ready to open from the humid area in the greenhouses where it was growing to a larger and more acceptable area, the bud then 'sulked' and the bloom refused to open! Good Luck! I so hope that you manage to obtain the fresh pollen and that your plant in question produce viable seed!
Congrats to all involved, and keep up the great work!

Julius Boos

Hi David,
Wonderful to see you acknowlege the efforts of others like that!!

So, this was just posted on another forum and it is near you so perhaps your pollen came come in useful very, very soon....a hobbyist grower has an Am. titanum blooming as below:

"If you live in New England, here is your chance to see the corpse flower unfold; I just came back from a visit --no lines right now; it is set up in our local fire station. The immense plant has been raised by a hobby botanist/oral surgeon in our town. Should be in flower tomorrow evening or Monday.
Laconia is best known for Motorcycle Week -- this is something truly different! Come one, come all. The $10.00 entrance charge will be used to support Lakes Region General Hospital Healthcare Dental Resource Center and the charitable efforts of the Laconia Kiwanis Club. Truly a "homegrown" event:

Laconia Kiwanis Club in partnership with LRGHealthcare
Rare Corpse Flower Bloom
at Lakeport Fire Station in Laconia NH
AUGUST 19th - August 27th 2006

Link with information and continuous photos:
http://www.laconiaschools.org/corpseflower/ "

These seem to be blooming like dandelions anymore :o)


Zone 6a

Gibsonia, PA

----- Original Message ----- From: "Horak, David" <davidhorak@bbg.org>
To: "Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 11:17 AM
Subject: [Aroid-l] Brooklyn Titan blooming

Dear All,

Our Titan is done and the spadix collapsed, but thanks to the generous
donation of pollen from Virginia Tech's division of Biological Sciences,
we are waiting to see if our pollination attempts have succeeded. There
was of course a tremendous amount of hype but that withstanding the
public really embraced our little event. It was special in that it
proved to many of us that plants and collections can compel the public
to come to a garden and that you do not necessarily have to resort to
song and dance nonsense to "entertain" folks. That said, the following
link is a time lapse video put together by our web person of the
blooming and really kind of fun. I guess that this can be construed to
be a bit of "song and dance"...but oh, what the heck.


I also want to publicly express a note of appreciation, in this forum,
to Alan Galloway who ten years ago generously donated this
plant/seedling to the Garden. The craziness surrounding this kind of
event (as many of you now have had the pleasure of experiencing)
inadvertently short changed his role in this. This event is a testimony
to the crucial role that hobbyists play in conservation and the
dissemination of information and special plants. It can often be
difficult to reciprocate, but botanical institutions do depend on your
dedication, enthusiasm and generosity regardless of whether it is ever
properly acknowledged. Alan made a lot of New Yorkers happy and I
personally applaud him as well as all of you for the generosity of your
knowledge, experience and plants. Thank you.

We did harvest pollen, so if anyone has a need contact me and I will see
what we can do.

Dave Horak

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