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Re: Typhonodorum

  • Subject: Re: Typhonodorum
  • From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo@msn.com>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 18:47:16 -0500 (CDT)

----- Original Message -----
From: Arno King <arnoking@yahoo.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2002 11:40 AM
Subject: Typhonodorum

Dear Arno,

Nice letter!   Yes, Typhonodorum is a magnificent giant Aroid, I first saw
thia at the home of the late Dr. Birdsey in Miami, Florida.   His plants
looked like huge compact banana 'trees'!   His bore fruit profously, and he
was very generous with visitors in giving these seeds away.   I found that
if you tried planting the quickly germinating seeds in soil BEFORE all the
seed had been absorbed by the growing plantlet, the seed would rot on
contact with soil and the plantlet would die (the large seeds of the
neotropical giant aroid Montrichardia were very much alike in this manner).
I let the seeds float untill almost all the visible seed had been absorbed,
by this time there was a very well developed root system and a nice little
plant floating around, and I then planted them in a VERY sandy mix.    I saw
a wonderful plant of this in bloom at a friends home, he had carefully
peeled away the straw-like covering of old petioles from around the 'trunk'
to expose a brilliantly colored inner live layer, shiny purple and cream
Good luck with all your aroids, and also with your trip to South America!

West Palm Beach,
Florida U.S.A.

>>Typhonodorums must be one of my favourite plants. I
think they look fantastic the way they rise up out of
a pond or lake. I really got hooked on them when I saw
them used in the landscapes created by Roberto Burle
-Marx in Brasilia, Brazil.

Luckily these plants seem to have been grown in
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (approximately USDA
zone 11) for many years and I had no problem sourcing

For the last 3 years I cut the old flowers off my
large (2 metre tall, 7 foot) Typhonodorum which grows
in a pot in my pond. I was under the assumption that
cross pollination between different plants was needed
for seed. 2 years ago I purchased 2 more plants which
will probably start flowering next summer. The idea
was to have flowers to cross pollinate.

After reading some comments on the list about self
pollination on these plants, I left the flowers on my
older plant. On Sunday I noted the spath of one flower
had opened a little and the fruit were loose.

It is now the heart of winter and really cold for us
Brisbanites. The days are warm and sunny in the mid
20's but the temperatures are diving down to 6 and 8
degrees C at night, with frosts in inland areas.

Also my pond is in an area shaded by trees during
winter, and the water doesn't get warmed by the sun.

Given the season and the brown mush of fruit and seed
in the bract, I didn't expect to find viable seed.
However on cleaning I found 9 large seeds. I placed
the cleaned seeds in a pan of water Sunday night.

Inspecting them on Tuesday afternoon I found two had
shoots 2 cm long (an inch), and others were sprouting.

I find this amazing given current temperatures in my
house. For a tropical plant, this plant does well in
our subtropical climate. I'm looking forward to
raising the next generation, however it looks like
I'll need to find homes for some of these plants, or
dig a bigger pond.

I find the root systems of the plant amazing. I repot
my big plant every 2 or so years. most of the roots
seem to be outside the pot and its a major struggle
repotting. Maybe I'll have to look at putting in a
permanent sand bed at the bottom of my pond.



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