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Amorphophallus bulbifer stories

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Amorphophallus bulbifer stories
  • From: Albert Huntington <BALBERTH@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 19:56:49 -0500 (CDT)

Hello, List.

  I would like to bring up a couple of observations about my A. bulbifer and
ask some questions.

  I keep my A. bulbifer in a greenhouse (low 65F, high 90F, Humidity 80%+), and
around last September I noticed that the leaf ( about 2ft high ) was beginning
to wilt, perhaps in preparation for dormancy of some sort.  Since the plant had
been growing pretty vigorously, I figured that I would try out a procedure that
I had read on the list for taking petiole cuttings, and harvest a few of the
bulbils along the way.  I removed the leaf from the tuber and cut the petiole
into 2-3" long sections which I sealed into a plastic bag with some damp
sphagnum peat.  I stored the tuber in the fridge over the winter, figuring that
I did not have room for the plant with everything else overwintering in my
greenhouse, should it decide to come back up.  I also stored a bunch of little
tubers that had formed attached to the big tuber.
  Much to my amazement, the petioles did in fact form even more little tubers
after a month or two.

  Now, in March, I figured it was time to pot out the tubers, so I took them
from the fridge, where they had kept relatively well, and I planted them in
pots in the greenhouse.  I then proceeded to wait.  And wait.  And wait.
  About early June, a few of the small tubers had sprouted, but not the big
one.   Now, in July, I finally see a small pink shoot on top of my bigger
tuber.  Some more of the smaller tubers I had potted up are beginning to
sprout.  Every single other Amorph I have, including the ones Wilbert sent out
this spring, is pretty much in full leaf by now.  This is somewhat puzzling to

  Does anyone have any suggestions as to why my A. bulbifer and its offshoots
should be poking their heads out so late this year?  Is it because I stressed
the plant by cutting off its head a bit early?  Does it have something to do
with its long siesta in the fridge?  Is A. bulbifer just a late species?
Anybody else have any experiences like this with other species?

  Thanks in advange for your answers...


Albert Huntington           San Jose, CA U.S.A.
           Visit my greenhouse at:

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