Re: Mark's A. titanum

Don Burns asked me to send a photo to someone with a scanner when my next
titanum leaf is unfurled. I'd be happy to.  Any volunteers? A print, right?

He also asked for horticultural "secrets".  There aren't any. My passion is
mainly for succulents and xerophytic epiphytes. I also have an incidental
interest in other weird plants such as the flashier aroids, about which I
know very little. The titanum seeds were from Palmengarten's index seminum
in June 1993. The three seeds began to germinate almost immediately, but it
took 18 months for the first leaf to unfurl completely. Since then they have
been growing exponentially, which is kind of scary, considering photos I've
seen of mature plants on the website (looks like about 15 feet?). I have
very little time to find space for the next explosion which began this week.

My greenhouse runs about 90 degrees F during the day (cooled by
evaporation), and 55 to 75 at night, winter and summer respectively. The two
remaining corms are in 24- and 36-inch pots in humus-rich potting mix. (I
gave the third to a friend in Calif., and it died outdoors in winter.) They
are fertilized with every watering at 200 ppm nitrogen. For the first two
growth cycles they made several leaves and split into two or three corms. I
gave two to the Biosphere; at least those should have enough room to mature.
Now they make a single leaf per growth cycle. I didn't dig 'em up the last
time they went dormant, so I don't know how large they are; the pots aren't
bulging yet.

The only advice I've received is to dig a hole in the floor of the
greenhouse. Well, my floor is typical Arizona caliche, a natural concrete.
Oh, well. I'd seriously consider donating at least one of them to an
institution with sufficient space the next time they go down. Sure would
like to flower one, though.

Mark Dimmitt, Horticulturist, Drylands Institute
Mark Dimmitt        Tucson, Arizona USA


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