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  TitanWatch 5/8/03 What's goin' on?
From: "Craig Allen" callen at fairchildgarden.org> on 2003.05.08 at 14:44:24(10221)
TitanWatch 5/8/03 What's goin' on?

As we gather here waiting for the moment... again... for a Titan Lily to strut it's stuff, or strut it's stench, or do the Mambo... I do digress. Anyway, the growing inflorescence is like none I have ever grown. It is sooooooo plump. It has me puzzled in a way. The spathe is still fairly tightly ruffled around the spadix, though a little bit looser than yesterday. The red color developing on the inside of the spathe is a bit more visible, but not a lot. It seems to be slowing down its growth a little, but only a little. But over all it is really FAT! Maybe it thinks I'm its Papa and wants to look like me. For the huge girth of the spadix as it emerges from the spathe I would expect a lot more height from the huge hollow odor factory. Why is the spadix so much darker than any others? What's goin' on? What's goin' on? (Now I'm beginning to sound like an old Marvin Gaye record from the early 70's)

The history of the spadix color on Mr. Stinky: 1998 it was fairly light with only a little of the darkening near the tip, 2001 it had more color and it was further down on the spadix, 2003 it looks positively sun tanned. I was wondering if the intense sun we are having this spring causes it, but it appears to have had no affect on Audrey III. Is it an age thing? What's goin' on? My notes I recorded during past TitanWatch years made note of furrows and depressions developing in the spadix. In 1998 there were 14 days between they note and the bloom opening. On Audrey III there was a 5-day period between the notes being made and the surprise opening on Monday afternoon. What in the dickens is going on? Does Mr. Stinky have more surprises in store for us?

I'm going to take tomorrow off, but I will be in late just to record Mr. Stinky's daily statistics and send out an update.

TitanWatch update:

Audrey III = still 73, but the spadix is wilting fast. The odor now is the decomposing spadix not road kill.

Mr. Stinky = 77 inches

We are revising the expected blooming time to be from Monday, May 12 to Thursday, May 15. But again who knows. What's goin' on?

Craig M. Allen

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