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  Pleasant smell of Arum dioscoridis?
From: Krzysztof Kozminski kk at kozminski.com> on 2003.04.05 at 17:17:16(10083)
I came out today to see that my A.dioscorididis v. luschanii was open
(might have opened yesterday). Last year, it had no discernible smell
at all, perhaps because I cut it up off early to get close-up photos
(some of the ones residing in

This year, a surprise. There was nothing pungent around the plant, so I
stuck my nose into the inflorescence, and was greeted with faint smell
resembling jasmine & orange blossoms.

I've heard that some essential oils (indol) have pleasant smell when
highly diluted, and exhibit fecal/putrid smell in high concentration.
Would this be the case for whatever is supposed to make A.dioscoridis
the most evil smelling of all arums?


From: Marc Gibernau gibernau at cict.fr> on 2003.04.07 at 09:52:40(10087)
Dear Krzysztof,

Apparently in Arum, there are two kinds of odour:
- one produced by the appendix (towards outside): it can be pleasant or
foul smelling according to the kind of pollinators attracted.
- one produce in the floral chamber (certainly by the male flowers): it's
always pleasant (emission of (sesqui)-terpenoid: bicyclo-germacrene).

The odour of A. dioscoridis var dioscoridis has been analysed and the
appendix emitted a mix: p-cresols, decene, dimethyloctadienes, 2-heptanone
and ethanol. Such odour can be described as donkey-dung odour, attracting
dung-breeder flies and beetles.
The odour of A. diocoridis var philistaeum has also been analysed and
appears to be different from the previous variety in containing various
esters of butanoic acid and lacking the three first compounds in the above

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