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  What does inflorescence mean?
From: "Leo A. Martin" leo1010 at attglobal.net> on 2003.06.04 at 19:57:26(10321)
>> What does inflorescence mean?

> I know the flower of the A. Titanum is the
> largest inflorescence, but does that mean
> there is another flower that is larger in
> the world, because it is not categorized as
> an inflorescence?

"...adopted by Linnaeus for the manner in which flowers are arranged on
the plant and hence for the flowers themselves considered collectively
with their supports, this constituting a flower-bearing branch or system
of branches with no ordinary foliage leaves between the flowers...."
- Stearns, WT. Botanical Latin, 4th ed., Timber Press, Portland, 1992,
p 432.

A flower is a specialized structure normally including reproductive
parts of angiosperms together with associated protective structures.
Flowers may contain female parts only, male parts only, both kinds of
parts, and rarely both male and female parts of a flower fail to
develop. Individual flowers clustered together in a branching structure
are called inflorescences.

Aroid inflorescences are composed of a central stem enclosed by a
modified leaf. On the central stem are arranged many small to tiny
individual flowers which are either male or female in most species.

The largest flower is that of Rafflesia arnoldii, a parasitic plant from
the jungles of Indonesia, in the family Rafflesiaceae. It reaches a
meter in diameter (39 inches.) It is pretty much impossible to
cultivate, being a parasite. It stinks, is striped yellow and maroon,
has vibratory hairs, and is carrion-pollinated, so most people on this
list would find it quite attractive.

The second-largest flower is that of Stapelia gigantea, a stem succulent
from southern Africa, in the family Asclepiadaceae, which has now been
subsumed into the family Apocynaceae. It reaches 16" / 40cm in diameter.
It is very easy to cultivate. It stinks, is striped yellow and maroon,
has vibratory hairs, and is carrion-pollinated, so most people on this
list would find it quite attractive.

By the above definition, the Titan is nowhere near the largest
inflorescence in the plant kingdom. That distinction would probably go
to palms in the genus Corypha, which are monocarpic, meaning they bloom
once and then die. The inflorescence can extend more than 10 meters
above the dying palm and shed tens of thousands of seeds the size of
pigeon eggs.

Many Agave and Furcrea species (Agavaceae) have very large
inflorescences, though not so large as Corypha.

Leo

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From: "Matyas Buzgo" buzgo at systbot.unizh.ch> on 2003.06.05 at 05:59:12(10324)
Dear Nancy and others

Flower:
Terminated short shoot bearing the reproductive organs (stamens and

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From: MossyTrail at cs.com on 2003.06.05 at 19:42:47(10328)
"Leo A. Martin" wrote:

>The largest flower is that of Rafflesia arnoldii, a parasitic plant from
>the jungles of Indonesia, in the family Rafflesiaceae. It reaches a
>meter in diameter (39 inches.) It is pretty much impossible to
>cultivate, being ?a parasite. It stinks, is striped yellow and maroon,
>has vibratory hairs, and is carrion-pollinated, so most people on this
>list would find it quite attractive.
>
Surely its hostplant is known? First cultivate the hostplant to a suitable size, then plant the Rafflesia on that. Of course, only a large botanic garden could do this, since the hostplant is a huge liana; but this obstacle is possible to overcome. What other factors make it "impossible to cultivate"?

Jason Hernandez

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From: "Marge Talt" mtalt at hort.net> on 2003.06.05 at 21:29:11(10330)
My oh my, what a flower! I'd never heard of this plant, so did a
Google image search for it. If I could grow it, I would, stink or
not! Is it grown in any botanical gardens in the US? Anyone know?

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
mtalt@hort.net

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From: Steve Budko sbudko at comcast.net> on 2003.06.06 at 15:43:32(10332)
wild boars, and then set into the lianas when they are trampled upon by
these boars. Sounds strange, but has anyone else heard or read this?

----- Original Message -----

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From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2003.06.06 at 21:14:04(10333)
The question here is (arrogantly, I admit!!), HOW many of those different
answers you saw were in fact by authorities!!!??

Lord Phallocrat

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From: Paul Tyerman ptyerman at ozemail.com.au> on 2003.06.08 at 02:41:21(10334)
At 06:14 7/06/03 +0200, you wrote:
>The question here is (arrogantly, I admit!!), HOW many of those different
>answers you saw were in fact by authorities!!!??
>
>Lord Phallocrat
>

Wilbert et al,

In this case I honestly do not know whether this response was a joke or a
serious response which is why I thought I had better ask the following......

As it happens I didn't try answer the question as I figured there were
others who knew FAR more than me, but do I assume from this that if a
question is asked then people should leave it for the authorities to answer
rather than trying to help? I have always tried to help with an answer for
a question if I thought I knew it, but it would appear that that may not be
the ideal way to do it as "thinking" I knew it does definitely not mean
that I have any qualifications or can act as an authority? I thought I had
better clarify before I make a mistake in the future.

Thanks.

Cheers.

Paul Tyerman

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From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" hetter at worldonline.nl> on 2003.06.08 at 10:37:55(10335)
To be clear: this answer was not directed towards anyone in particular but
it is true that the answers were too diverse to answer somebody properly.
There is no trouble when somebody quotes from a book. You don't have to be
an authority for that and it works. That is where books are for.
(incidently, it surprises me that nobody quoted the genera of Araceae on
this!!! The book we all should have............).

My own policy is simple: if I am not sure, I either keep silent or admit
that I give a possibly dubious answer.

So, I would say that first believe the authorities (what a nauseating word,
actually) and when they fail.......well.....
errrrrr..... what then? make an "educated" guess at it? Is that satisfying?
Not in my world it isn't. But hey, there are many worlds......

Wilbert

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