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  TitanWatch 5/2/03 Titan with a twist
From: "Craig Allen" callen at fairchildgarden.org> on 2003.05.02 at 21:55:45(10163)
TitanWatch 5/2/03 Titan with a twist

A number of Mr. Stinky's adoring fans came in for a visit after seeing yesterdays TV interview. With the Bromeliad Show and Sale this weekend there should be a lot more visitors at Fairchild. I think I'll hang around myself.

If you have watched the web cam you can see that I changed the Amorphophallus titanum display today. Three Rhapis excelsa palms were placed behind the Titans to simplify the background and to help the Titans visually stand out. The two tall Amorphophallus gigas that were in the background were moved away from the Titans. The tip of the spadix toppled on one of the plants and the entire spadix collapsed on the other. I was a worried that if they are past their prime, they could come crashing down. If one of them fell on a blooming Titan it could do a lot of damage.

I was actually surprised to see the Amorphophallus gigas deteriorate so quickly. One possibility that I will investigate next week is that all the flies attracted to the stench might have pollinated the gigas. There were several days when they were both in bloom together and the flies were landing on all parts of the plants, so I guess it could happen. If they were pollinated they will remain standing for many months.

While working on the display, I turned the 44" pot that Mr. Stinky lives in so that the overlapping fold of the ruffled spathe would face the front of the display and the visitors. As I was doing that I found something strange, at least to me. Every Titan that I have bloomed had the spathe wrapped clockwise around the central spadix. When you face the inflorescence, you would normally see the right hand side of the spadix wraps over the top of the left-hand side. Not so on Mr. Stinky. THIS TIME the left-hand side is overlapping the right. I looked at all the pictures of the titans I have bloomed, including the last two times Mr. Stinky has flowered. They were all the same.

I looked up pictures on the web of Titans and other species. I looked on the Aroid Society web site:


Well guess what I discovered... It happens

TitanWatch Update:
Mr. Stinky - 46 inches
Audrey III - 66 inches, and looking more grown up every day

Craig M. Allen

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