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RE: [Aroid-l] Another few Amorphophallus titanum seedling queries

  • Subject: RE: [Aroid-l] Another few Amorphophallus titanum seedling queries
  • From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo@msn.com
  • Date: Tue, 07 Mar 2006 23:00:35 +0000

From : 	<ted.held@us.henkel.com>
Reply-To : Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Sent : Tuesday, March 7, 2006 2:38 PM
To : Discussion of aroids <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Subject : [Aroid-l] Another few Amorphophallus titanum seedling queries

Dear Ted,

Brim away w/ questions, we have the answers!!
A. titanum in its natural state if cross-pollinated by insects (the exact ID of which insect I believe is still in doubt, it may be a species of small bee, or carrion flies or beetles). The male/upper portion of the spadix and the spathe then fall away, and the peduncle lengthens as the seed/fruit which remain on the lower retained portion of the spadix develop over weeks/months. Green-colored at first, when the fruit are ripe they turn bright scarlet. I`m certain that many animals and birds find them attractive as food and do eat the ripe fruit, but the most important birds that seem to be the distributors of the seed away from the mother plant are a species of giant hornbill. After swallowing the ripe fruit, and after a fairly short interval of time, these huge birds cough up/ regurgitate the seed once the fruit covering the seeds has been digested in their upper stomach, so the seed does not 'suffer' going through the entire alimantary canal where it might be destroyed. It would be interesting top know if seed/fruit eaten by other wild animals like civet cats, etc. manage to survive and germinate.
NOW---if all you lurkers and non-IAS members out there WERE in fact members, you would own your set of Aroideanas and be able to read the WONDERFUL articles by Jim Symon and our very own 'Lord Phallus' (AKA 'king dick'), Wilbert Hetterschied, on their sucessful quest for these giant plants in their natural habitat, and see photos of all that I have described above, the infructesence in the wild, the heads of the hornbills shot by natives, etc.
So COME ON, peoples, join the IAS, you will find it well worth the pittance of yearly membership ($25.00/year), and the rewards are immense. We need your membership $$ and your support to continue to publish Aroideana and keep the IAS vibrant and interesting to YOU people, and also to provide all this invaluable information FREE to you great growers out there who love aroids!!.
Good Growing!!!


What happens to the titanum inflorescence after maturity? Does the thing just whither into mush or are the seeds borne on a stalk for some time afterward? How are the seeds dispersed? Is there edible flesh surrounding the seed? If so, how does the seed prevent getting scratched and otherwise attacked when the flesh is eaten? Are seedlings of titanum just distributed closely around the parent?
I suppose these questions pertain to all our species. But the titanum example is interesting for me beause of the size of the seeds. I always find myself brimming with questions.<<

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