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Re: [Aroid-l]Largest flower/infloresence

  • Subject: Re: [Aroid-l]Largest flower/infloresence
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@msn.com>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2007 23:36:27 +0000

From : 	Steve Marak <samarak@gizmoworks.com>
Reply-To : 	Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent : 	Wednesday, January 24, 2007 9:40 PM
To : 	Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Subject : 	Re: [Aroid-l] Rafflesia flower size

Thanks Steve! I was waiting for SOMEONE to come up w/ the correct facts on these three 'giants', so to all of us 'nuts' out there, the facts are stated below in Steve`s note! Raflesia IS in fact the biggest single flower. Concerning the largest infloresence, it is difficult to comprehend how big an infloresence a Talipot palm can and does produce. For those who have never seen one, let me 'exsplashiate' (a Trinidadian slang term, :--)-------- the Talipot palm is one of the 'giant' fan-palm species, and grows for many years (30-60??) to adult size (40 ft. or so?), and THEN!!!!------and THEN!$!$!$!$!$!$---------a HUGE 'ostrich plume' of flowers, JUST GLORIOUS IN ITS FINAL FORM AND COLOR emerges from the center of the crown, reaching upward for months, and finally opening into THE most glorious spectacle, maybe 14 or 15 meters tall by 10 meters wide, almost impossible to comprehend, cream-white when at its anthesis, hundreds of nectar-loving birds and insects surrounding and in it! I saw a photo a few years ago taken from a plane or helicopter of a HUGE one in bloom somewhere in Venezuela, and as a boy back in Trinidad (around 1960?) a HUGE one came into bloom near our Botanical gardens, and my Dad (now dead) took multiple photos, I will try to get my brother to locate them in his collection of Dad`s slides. This treasure of the plant kindom, having bloomed but once after growing for so many years, and having spent its all in reproduction, then dies! So---onwards to bigger, better and other discussions! Thanks to all who took part!


"Largest flower" is a question that seems to interest even people without our
addiction. I've read the following several places:

largest single flower - Rafflesia arnoldii
largest unbranched inflorescence - Amorphophallus titantum
largest branched inflorescence - Corypha umbraculifera (talipot palm)

although I've also seen Puya raimondii, one of those incredible Andean
bromeliads, as a contender in the last category. The inflorescence is in the
same size range (6-10 meters), but the palm seems to win on flower count by
a couple of orders of magnitude (and probably on total weight, too).

Of course, seeing it several places may just mean most of the writers copied it
from the same original source.


-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@gizmoworks.com
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