Biarum bits

Hi aroiders,

I have just flowered my Biarum spuneri for the first time.
Sown from seed in Feb.'93 it has taken 4 years of healthy growing 
before this happy event. Flowering on the soil surface with leaves 
just emerging it really is a 'cutey'. It has a very strong but 
interesting perfume reminiscent of fermenting figs or wine.

It is autumn here way down south and always early starters are the 
Biarums and Arums creticum, pictum and nickelii . Zantedeschias 
elliottiana, rehmanii and albomaculata are declining in preparation 
for their winter rest whilst the Dracunculus and Helicodiceros tubers 
are sending out roots in anticipation of some autumn rain. 

Autumn has brought a cool change from 'the summer from hell' and I am sure I 
can hear the plants sighing with relief. Still our hot, dry summer is 
probably what made the Biarum flower !

I am preparing a new aroid bed in our teaching garden at the moment.
I am digging in piles of beautiful compost obtained from our Zoology 
departments free-range animal reserve on campus. The compost has been
rotting down for about 6 years and is full of lucerne hay and 
kangaroo-poo ( or is it possum pibbles, koala krap !! )
It will sure make the aroids 'hop' to it when they get their roots 
down ! 
What do you northeners use in your compost heaps ? Moose-manure ?
Racoon-raisins ? or maybe even Deer- doooos.

Now I have lowered the tone of the conversation I'll go.

             Rob  (temperate zone 9 /10 Melbourne. Australia )

Dept.of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Monash University, Clayton 3168

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