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A. konjac's blooming

  • Subject: A. konjac's blooming
  • From: "Plantsman" <plantsman@prodigy.net>
  • Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 15:36:35 -0500 (CDT)

 I just wanted to make a few comments after visiting a friend's
aroid and carnivorous plant gardens today.  He'd called me yesterday
to tell me that his A. konjac's were open and I'd better get there
quick if I wanted to take pictures.  I'd visited his gardens last
summer and his A. konjac's were the largest I've seen yet.  One
massive bulb has probably divided itself and had three very large
leaves almost five feet tall and wide with stems almost as big as my
forearm.  He's growing these in the ground here in Northeast
Tennessee, about three miles from the VA border (Zone 6a).  This
plant has been reliably hardy with a mulch since it was set out
three years ago and has survived 8F temps.  He also manages to grow
a huge clump of Alocasia plumbeae (sp?) outdoors with a mulch and a
variety of Arisaemas.

When I pulled up in his driveway, the two towering spathes couldn't
be missed.  One was a little over four feet tall and the much larger
one was over six feet tall.  Beautiful, scary looking things!  The
flies were buzzing everywhere and with good reason.  This was the
first time that I'd smelled these and after having grown Typhonium
guttatum (sp?) and Dracunculus vulgaris for a number of years, I
couldn't see how anything could be much worse.  Well, I was wrong.
The konjacs smelled very similar to the Dracunculus but much louder!
I had to hold my breath when taking pictures down the spathes of the
flowering parts.  Almost four hours later, I still catch myself
thinking that I smell it.  It must do something to your mind to
cause olfactory hallucinations!  Anyway, it was a most pleasant
diversion for the lunch hour and I took several pictures.  Several
of his tropical Arisaemas were also blooming including a large clump
of A. triparta and one of the fully-eared purple cobra lily types.
Also in bloom were large quantities of Sarracenia (sp?) pitcher
plants in multitude of colors in his raised bog gardens.  He
hybridizes them and you never what he'll come up with in new flower

David Sizemore
Kingsport, TN
"Where the Typhonium guttatums (Sauromatum) have been flowering for
a week! <p-yoo>"

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