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  Amorphophallus bulbifer stories
From: Albert Huntington BALBERTH at yahoo.com> on 2000.07.10 at 17:56:49(5038)
Hello, List.

I would like to bring up a couple of observations about my A. bulbifer and
ask some questions.

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From: Jody Haynes webmaster at plantapalm.com> on 2000.07.10 at 19:23:28(5041)
Albert,

This will certainly not help you unravel your apparent mystery, but I could add
that my A. bulbifer was the first to emerger (from the ground) this year,
some time
in May. The bulbils from last year that I had sown in a container earlier this
spring emerged about a month later. My largest plant has a leaf about 3
feet tall
now, but still has not flowered. How big does this species need to be before it
flowers?

My A. paenifolius emerged in June and the leaf reached 4 feet. This one
also has
not flowered...again same question: how big 'til it blooms?

Jody (in Miami)

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From: Al Wootten awootten at NRAO.EDU> on 2000.07.11 at 14:46:28(5048)
I have several A. bulbifer now. Grandaddy is always late, and I haven't seen
a shoot from him yet. Plants which were bulbils on Grandaddy four years ago
are not yet up. The youngest, seedlings year before last, are up.
Bulbils from the last three years are up, at various stages of development.
All but the seedlings spend the winter in a closet greenhouse with my
orchids in their pots; they generally collapse just as winter is coming
on.

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From: mb.cfg at mindspring.com on 2000.07.11 at 14:47:12(5049)
To Jody/Albert and all,

If it is any help at all, I have noticed that Amorphs, and be very
unpredictable as far as their growth cycle. Some seem to come up early,
some come up late, go down early, go down late, etc..

I have regularly observed that species act differently from year to year
with little explanation. I can recently remember last "winter" in Dewey's
shadehouse, plants were "sprouting" in November and later. There was of
course no explanation for this, but I do have a theory:

Most Amorphophallus plants come from areas that are extremely tropical. I
dont just mean tropical, I mean "extremely" tropical. Even much more so
than S. Florida (where I live). What this translates to is that the
climatic environment of all of these plants tends to be very stable and
they generally do not experience the extremes we do. This may account for
plants not acting with "super" predictability in cultivation. For example,
my A. titanum specimen plants seem to always go dormant in the "spring"
very much like the ones at Fairchild gardens. Now, I am in the Northern
hemisphere, the same as where the plants grow naturally, yet "springtime"
does not seem like an appropriate time to go dormant. You would imagine
that "winter" would make more sense, so that the plant would avoid adverse
weather conditions (lack of rain, cooler or colder temps, etc...)

Another issue is the "skipped season", I have read that some plants, just
outright can stay dormant and miss an entire season. My A. curvist. plant
is not yet up this year and upon further inspection does not look like it
is going to even try. It has been in moist soil for well over 5 months and
it is still solid, unrotted and yet it has not even sent out roots. It
looks like it is going to sleep this one out.

Who knows, they are just weird!

Marc Burack

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From: Walter Greenwood walterg at nauticom.net> on 2000.07.11 at 19:29:50(5056)
Jody & Albert,

My A's. bulbifer are also following their own schedule. The 4 tubers I brought
outside early this spring flowered about 2 weeks ago, and the flowers are now
wilted. No sign yet of leaves. The 2 same sized tubers I left inside in a
sunroom

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From: Tim & Mary McNinch Newton at coiinc.com> on 2000.07.11 at 20:15:04(5061)
Mine are doing the same. My largest is only just showing the leaf about to
emerge
and is 6" tall. They have been in the soil for 60 days or more.

Tim

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From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2000.07.12 at 19:05:00(5077)
I thought that the "sweet smelling" Amorphophallus bulbifers are really A.
muelleri. Seems like this has been mentioned before. The two species are very
similar and muelleri has often been distributed as bulbifer.

Is this right? I just changed names on some plants here at Selby from Amorph.
bulbifer to muelleri based on the smell. They flowered last month.

Lord P tell me I have not made a big mistake!

Donna Atwood

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From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2000.07.13 at 16:32:48(5093)
Lord P says........"both species are horrendous stinkers. The smell
consisting of organic sulphides that make your head spin! Whoever claims
that either of these species has a sweet scent.........needs a thorough
nose-job. I don't think this is the way to distinguish them."

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.07.14 at 15:48:13(5104)
Dear Lord P (Richard the Great??),

There is an Amorphophallus here in Florida much like A. bulbifer in that it
produces bulbils on the leaf 'joints' that does produce a BEAUTIFUL, tall,
chalice-like bloom that smells WONDERFUL, quite unlike the stench of A.
bulbifer. It is sold by Charlie Mc Daniel at Shows as the 'Good-smelling
A. bulbifer'.

Any ideas??

Cheers,

Julius

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From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2000.07.15 at 09:17:03(5119)
Well, that is a surprise to me. The only species with that clear a
bulbil-formation AND smelling o.k. is Am. yuloensis, but I have never seen
that flower on a long stalk. Honestly, this is a great surprise, since, and
I am repeating myself, both bulbifer and muelleri are bad, bad, bad........
But, possibly, some people perceive the sulphides as "pleasant", like bottle
flies do..........

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From: SelbyHort at aol.com on 2000.07.15 at 20:17:39(5130)
Julius,
I think this is what we had labeled as Amorphophallus bulbifer. I just
changed the tag to A. muelleri but I am not so sure this is correct. The
inflorescence smells a bit like a light tropical citrus or gingery smell. It
is not very strong smelling but certainly does not smell stinky or rotten or
otherwise repulsive. Bulbils form at the base of the blades. The spathe
interior is a lovely shell pink. I wish I still had an inflorescence for a
better description but our plants bloomed about a month ago. These plants
have been here for several years outdoors (have no idea about the source of
the plant, but possibly came from Sun Bulb?) and we have often referred to it
as the "nice smelling bulbifer".

I would check my Aroideana Amorphophallus volume to compare Wilbert's
descriptions of both Amorph. bulbifer and A. muelleri but have loaned it out
and did not get it back! I'll never do that again!

Donna Atwood

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From: "Don Bittel" dbittel at treco.net> on 2000.07.15 at 22:36:11(5132)
Donna,
I bought one of these bulbifer from Sun Bulb years ago, and noticed it
looked different from the regular ones. the stem had vertical lines and
looked more like a muelleri. back then I did not have muelleri to compare.
I can't find it now and don't know if I still have it. But muelleri has a
spotted spathe that would not be mistaken for bulbifer, so this 'sweet
bulbifer' must be something besides muelleri.

Don Bittel

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From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 2000.07.16 at 10:30:17(5134)
Dear Donna,

Thanks for taking the time to answer and give the info. on the 'sweet
smelling' A. bulbifer. I have only run into it a couple of times, the last
was several years ago at a Plant Show and Sale here in W.P.B. at the Mounts
Bot. Garden, Charlie Mc Daniel had a plant in bloom, and my description is
based on that memory. I believe that the bloom was exactly as you
describe, and many stopped to smell and marvel at this 'non-stinky'
Amorphophallus, a really nice smell and a BEAUTIFUL, chalice-like
inflorescence, pink and a light salon was involved in it`s colors, I
believe. I remember the peduncle as being rather tall? Am I correct on
this part of my memory, as Wilbert seems to be very interested as to this
point. I have put out a call to try to find a specimen around here that we
can to send to Wilbert.
In the interest of science, I believe that Selby should try to get a plant
of this to Lord P. post-haste, as it does need a correct name! Seemingly
rather jaded now after all the sometimes nondescript, stinky and ugly phalli
that he has been forced to inspect, perhaps a new, handsome, nice-smelling
one would be just the 'pick-me-up' that he needs!! What think ye, oh great
Lord P.???Think you could help with this task??

Cheers and good growing to all,

Julius

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