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[aroid-l] Amorphophallus FAQ part 2

  • Subject: [aroid-l] Amorphophallus FAQ part 2
  • From: "Randy Story" story@caltech.edu
  • Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2002 19:14:59 -0700

Hi,

I figured my first question was unlikely to stimulate controversy and
discussion,  So I decided to post the second set now.  Again, I stress that
the initial "answer" is intended to be just a guess to stimulate feedback,
not a real answer.  I am far too new at this for that.  I'm looking for
either general comments, detailed comments or very specific comments on
given question.  Please do not hesitate to tell me where I am wrong.  I am
open to suggestions for new questions (there are now 15), although  I do
want to keep this brief.

The final set of questions and trial answers are all fairly short and I will
post them all together in several days.

Send comments directly to me or to the list.

Thanks!

Randy

Amorphophallus Cultivation FAQ

Second set of Questions (2-5) with trial answers.  Comments are in brackets
[  ]

Q.Where can I buy tubers?
A.  Below are companies that regularly sell 3 or more Amorphophallus species
[I'd really like to not list every company that sells only A. konjac, for
example]

Plant Delights Nursery http://www.plantdel.com/
Cook's Carnivorous Plants http://www.flytraps.com
J.D. Andersen Nursery http://www.jdandersen.com/index.htm
Malesiana Tropicals http://www.malesiana.tropicals.com.my/index.html
Bjorn Malkmus' www.rareplants.de   http://www.rareplants.de
[ + others??? ]

Amorphophallus tubers can often be found on the Aroid Trading Post
http://www.aroid.org/trading/index.html  Occasionally people will give away
their surplus tubers or offsets.

They can sometimes be found on Ebay.  The prices are sometimes below "market
value", sometimes not.  It is best to buy plants while they are dormant.

Q.  How hardy are Amorphophallus species?
A.  A list of hardiness for several species (as well as other aroids), was
compiled by Plant Delights Nursery:
http://www.aroid.org/horticulture/hardy.html  The estimates are for tubers
planted in the ground.

Q. How big do they need to be to bloom?
A.  Even when mature, most Amorphophallus species will not bloom every year.
Moreover, whether a tuber will bloom at a given size is very unpredictable,
even for a clone of the same species.  Below are estimates for what a
"typical" size at first bloom might be for several of the most common
species.  Some plants may bloom while smaller than this, many will not bloom
until larger.
[What I am seeking here is a guess as to an approximate median size at first
bloom.  Say you have 100 tubers, average this over different conditions,
clones, luck, etc...]

A. konjac (6 in/15 cm)
A. paeoniifolius (at least 8 in/20 cm ???)
A. bulbifer (4 in./10 cm)
    [+others??]

Q.  Are the plants poisonous?
A. Most parts of the plant contain calcium oxalate, which is poisonous.
Even contact with a tuber can cause a skin rash in sensitive people.  [Are
the berries ever poisonous?? Kids are known to eat berries...]






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