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  TitanWatch 5/9/03 Farewell to Audrey III...
From: "Craig Allen" callen at fairchildgarden.org> on 2003.05.09 at 13:25:29(10228)
TitanWatch 5/9/03 Farewell to Audrey III... ...

Farewell to Audrey III... For those keeping up with the web cam, the collapse of the Amorphophallus titanum Audrey III, is no surprise. Not more than 5 minutes after I sent yesterdays update and had turned off my computer, I went out for my last evening's observation of the Titans. There she sat looking a bit long in the tooth. Her beautiful cone like spadix had unceremoniously flopped right in her face. In the next day or two she will be moved to a private spot to regain her composure and grow this years leaf. Audrey's 15 minutes of fame has past for now. As a mature Titan, I'm sure she will be back to be admired in a few years.

Meanwhile the hottest ticket in town is Audrey's brother, the famous Mr. Stinky. This afternoon the spathe has loosened yet a little more, but not enough to signal red alert. The dark red color on the inner spathe is getting quite strong now. The depressions forming near the top on either side of the spadix are very deep now. It appears that the inner tissue of each depression or dimple may actually be in physical contact. The spadix is taking on a very mature look. Dimples, Mr. Stinky has dimples. I guess the next step is a smile, and then... well anyway don't stand too close.

Looking at Mr. Stink's magnificent developing bloom spike, I am struck by certain characters that I remember from the last two times he bloomed. One that had me worried the first time, are tiny dark spots just down from the edge of the spathe's ruffle. Mr. Stinky has had that each time, but there was no sign of it on Audrey III. Another familiar feature is the way the ribs near the edge of the ruffled spathe twist and arch as they grow and expand. It looks like there isn't enough room for the spathe to pack in all ruffles that Mr. Stinky is developing. Audrey's spathe was always very regular and even in its expansion. Was she always conscious of her appearance?

A little interesting side note is the appearance of developing berries on one of the first Amorphophallus gigas to bloom. We didn't pollinate it, but did Mother Nature take care of that for us. If seeds do develop, who would the other parent be? The other two A. gigas had not yet fully developed. Just maybe there was a wild "Stinky" party when the Garden staff wasn't there to keep order.

TitanWatch Update:

Audrey III = spadix collapsed 6:30 P.M. 5/8/03

Mr. Stinky = 80 inches

Craig M. Allen

From: Al Wootten awootten at nrao.edu> on 2003.05.12 at 06:46:01(10242)
A great photo of gas-masekd Craig and Mr. Stinky, with a short article,
appeared in Sunday's Washington Post, p.2.

I'll have to content myself with my A. konjac watch...about 30" now with
hints of spathe unfurling imminent but I'll be away until Friday...

Clear skies,

From: SongString at aol.com on 2003.05.12 at 12:26:54(10245)
<< I'll have to content myself with my A. konjac watch >>

Well, my A. konjac has finally wilted. It was it's first spring to flower.
I didn't even know what kind of plant I had, until a few weeks ago, when I
did some snooping around on the internet and found out what I had. I got my
first corm, tuber, or whatever we decided to call it, at a garage sale in
southern Ohio a few years ago. I plant it outside every spring and dig it up
in the fall, putting it in the basement. When I found it growing in the
basement this spring, I brought it upstairs and it must have grown about 2
feet in one day, or at least it seemed like it. In a week, it was about 6
feet tall. It had divided into two corms last summer,but was still attached.
I cut it apart this spring. So I actually had two flowering A. konjacs. I
kept waiting for it to stink. It stank a little bit one day, when it got in
the 70's, but it never stank again. I had to get really close though to
smell it. I kept expecting it to get really stinky, but, it stayed in the
60's and rainy most of the time, so it never stank. Probably a good thing,
because my husband was threatening to get rid of it, if it smelled. NO sense
of adventure.

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