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  Help with Amorphophallus & Sauromatum
From: Peter Postlewaite ppostlewaite at yahoo.com> on 2002.03.22 at 07:06:14(8318)
I was recently given corms for Amorphophallus konjac
(aka A. riveiri) and Sauromatum guttatum (aka S.
venosum, Typhonium venosum). I plan to grow them
outdoors. I have done searches on the web, and it
appears that they are not difficult to grow. I would
appreciate helpful hints from individuals who have
experience growing theses Aroids. In what zones are
they hardy enough to be left in the ground over
winter? I know that they are not hardy in my zone 5
garden, but I will be sharing them with people in
zones 6 and 7. Thanks in advance.

Pete Postlewaite

From: Douglas Ewing dewing at u.washington.edu> on 2002.03.22 at 20:16:07(8326)
Pete, I would strongly urge you to tell people that Sauromatum is
potentially invasive. I do not think it should be planted out of
containers. We have a research group here at the University of Washington
that has worked with this species for 50+ years studying thermogenicity. I
made the mistake of planting tubers in my garden at home to try and grow
the researches a big crop. 15 years later I am still trying to eradicate
them from my garden. Doug

From: Plantbob at aol.com on 2002.03.22 at 20:16:31(8328)

I have grown A. konjacs in the ground, over winter, in my area (zone 6b,
Phila) with success. The small and large tubers wintered over when mulched.
Hope this helps.

Bob Kleiser

From: "Plantsman" plantsman at prodigy.net> on 2002.03.22 at 20:16:43(8329)
Typhonium venosum is definitely very hardy in my area of northeast
Tennessee (Zone 6a). I've never lost any out in open ground that
were buried more than 3" deep. The only ones that I've ever lost
were young tubers that fell off of the main tubers when they're
being divided and have ended up near the surface. I typically plant
the tubers at least 4" deep to be safe and rarely mulch them. I
usually don't try to test A. konjac due to it's price but have had a
few to overwinter in the ground that fell away from the main culm
when they were dug in the Autumn. I know of one fellow in my area
that has an absolutely huge clump of them that has overwintered them
successfully in the ground by mulching with a deep pile of leaves.
Good luck!

David Sizemore

From: "Paul botting" pbotting at crosslink.net> on 2002.03.22 at 20:16:55(8330)
Peter -

I grow both they are hardy in my zone 6b garden. I planted the A. konjac
6 - 8 in deep. The Typhonium venosum was planted deeper but one large corm
is just below the mulch now, so I suspect it may be hardy for you in zone 5

From: Tony Avent tony at plantdel.com> on 2002.03.23 at 19:21:03(8333)

Your note on Sauromatum (typhonium) being invasive is quite interesting.
Do you mean invasive as per the official US government definition of
"invades a natural functioning ecosystem and displaces native plants" or do
you simply mean it seeds around the garden? For us, seed which are not
harvested will certainly seed around the garden, but here it certainly
doesn't qualify as invasive. We have found that harvesting the seed or
breaking off the flowers after they have finished will prevent the seeding.
Also, a small bit of Roundup as it emerges will also easily remove it from
your garden. With all of the serious issues surrounding invasive plants, I
think it would serve us well to clarify the term before we see many of our
garden plants being banned than only reproduce well in a garden setting.

From: "Celeste Whitlow" politicalamazon at charter.net> on 2002.03.23 at 19:21:28(8335)
I admire everybody who is able to successfully grow aroids in the ground.
Do moles and other burrowing critters simply not like them? I seem to lose
at least a fourth of my lily bulbs every year to predition from burrowing
critters, despite a very active cat who leaves plenty-o-critter innerds on
our carpet.

From: angel morales angel151 at earthlink.net> on 2002.03.24 at 13:27:50(8342)
Not particularly an expert on the subject of Amorphophallus, but , would
building an chicken wire cage , of about 1'x1' square, or larger, buried
just underneath the plant or bulb help to keep out the Moles, or other
critters. Just a thought.


From: "Celeste Whitlow" politicalamazon at charter.net> on 2002.03.25 at 08:46:16(8351)
It's my experience with those types of cages that the burrowing critters
simply hop over the chicken wire (at ground surface) and go for the goodies.

Maybe I need another cat...a big, hungry, barn cat....


From: Eric_L_._Schmidt/LEU/CYS/Orlando at priv.ci.orlando.fl.us.ci.orlando.fl.us on 2002.03.25 at 13:58:28(8362)
Excellent post Tony. Here in Florida there is a tendency to over react on
exotics. The Florida Exotic Plant Council puts out a list of invasive
plants. This is a good thing but the list does not specify where the plants
are invasive. Here in Central Florida our zone 9 climate is a mixing ground
of temperate and tropical plants. There are plants that are invasive in
south Florida that grow up here but are behaved, things such as Bischofia,
Melaleuca, Bauhinia, Eugenia, Schefflera, and Ficus. Same with some hardy
plants like Nandina or Ardisia, invasive in northern Florida but behaved in
this area.

Eric Schmidt

From: Douglas Ewing dewing at u.washington.edu> on 2002.03.25 at 20:31:31(8365)
Tony, my experience is as follows: Sauromatum ( Typhonium) does not seed
in my garden, probably because I do not allow them to bloom (I remove the
inflorescence as soon as I see one.) The main way that this species
spreads in my garden is via asexual reproduction. The small tubers that
are produced around the top of the main tuber create an ever-larger clump
of plants. Vigorous weeding, cutting of foliage, even Roundup applications
spring, summer, and fall, have only succeeded in making the little
buggers smaller, albeit more numerous.( Have you successfully killed this
species with Roundup?). I am calling this species
From: Paul Tyerman ptyerman at ozemail.com.au> on 2002.03.26 at 08:06:34(8368)
>into one. If a species is this difficult for someone with years of
>experience working with plants to get rid of in a garden bed, I am going
>err on the side of safety and call it an invasive. Once it gets somewhere
>where nobody annually removes the inflorescence and you add sexual
>reproduction and animal dispersal of seed to the equation, I will bet it
>is invasive by any definition, at least in Puget Sound area of Washington.


One thing immediately sprung to mind on reading your comments above.......
something that multiplies like crazy in a garden situation due to the
higher rates of fertiliser water and reduction in natural weeds does nto
necessarily multiply like that "in the wild". I'm not criticising in any
way, just mentioning that the conditions we grow plants in naturally
provide a better than average growing condition so the performance of any
plant in a garden situation does not necessarily mean that it will take
over in areas given different situations. I will only mention that as I
think that this has been said elsewhere (I lose track of which mailing list
particular emails come from.... this has been discussed on a number of
different ones) but I thought it was at least worth mentioning.

I would also note..... my above statement does not mean that it ISN'T going
to be invasive either, just that plentiful production in a garden situation
does not "necesarily" mean the same results in the wild, evne in the same
geographic area and climate.


Paul Tyerman

From: Tony Avent tony at plantdel.com> on 2002.03.26 at 08:06:47(8369)

Thanks for the clarification on the sauromatum (typhonium). We have been
successful with Roundup (glyphosate) when the plant is actively growing.
Since the leaf has thick cuticle, I would suggest cutting the stem when the
plant is in active growth and simply pouring a few drops on the cut stem

It is amazing how our plant paradigm has changed. In the recent past a
plant was touted for its ability to "naturalize" in a garden. Now plants
with this trait are the scourge of the world. While few non-native plants
to a particular area are truly invasive over time (displacing natives in a
functioning ecosystem), those that become overly agressive in our gardens
should be on a watch list for our region. Conversely, this is not a reason
to ban the plant from the entire country as the current system allows. As
Doug points out, good gardeners spreading good information are the key in
making good decisions.

Tony Avent

From: magrysbo at shu.edu on 2002.04.01 at 19:11:17(8410)
What's with all the stink about Sauromatum? (LOL) Maybe it'll drive all
the deer out of our neighborhood. I give blooming size tubers to people I
don't like. The Sauromatums repay me by sending stray offsets into my
Arisaema plantings, so that I have to look for the prescence of a cataphyll
on what looks like an Arisaema seedling to validate it.

Bonaventure Magrys

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