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[Aroid-l] Some Science Regarding a GOOD SMELLING A. bulbifer



Poor Julius. Nobody believes him. Except me. The reason I put Julius's opinion on the credible list is that he has a track record here of careful and considered observations. Further, he seems to have an abiding interest in recording the minutiae of aroid growing for the advancement of knowledge about these plants. This he does because it is his ethic and his, might I say, mania.

As others have discussed, smell is one of those dumb senses in people. That is, we do smell, but our smell sensitivity is a weak and pitiful thing compared to a lion, a beetle, a prairie dog, or a vulture. Many of us have personal experiences of scents that are pleasant to us, which at the same time are cloying or downright repulsive to others.

But look at what evidence we have before us. We have Julius insisting that there is a type of bulbifer that is good smelling. I presume here that this judgment was made by him in reference to other experiences with bulbifers that smelled bad. What that does, if I am right in my assumption, is remove the person-to-person variation in odor sensitivity. What we can't rule out by this alone is whether Julius's experiencing the good smell was merely a snapshot of a range of smells emitted by bulbifer over the bloom period. In other words. maybe bulbifer emits different odors depending on the age of the flower.

Let's also assume for a moment that Lord P. insists that all bulbifers smell bad and that this is evidence that Julius is crazy. Could it not be that Lord P.'s experiences are deficient in experiencing the range of odors emitted by bulbifer cultivars because he has not yet come across one of the good-smelling ones? This seems most believable. If we also assume that Lord P. is another experienced and astute observer of aroids, we can probably eliminate the idea that smell differences between the young and older bulbifer flowers is the explanation, Surely, Lord P. would have detected that over his years of experience.

So, what we conclude is that Julius (and the others reporting good smells) have probably experienced the odor of another form of bulbifer. That is a perfectly credible theory. The path toward resolution of this dispute is to provide the naysayers with plants of the alternately-odiferous bulbifer so that the skeptics can experience the good smells for themselves.

After all that I'll bet the community will come to the conclusion that there are at least two odor clones of bulbifer and that Julius is a truthful person. Whether he is crazy or not will hinge on other considerations.

Ted.
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