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  Amorph titanum flowering in Sydney, Australia
From: Paul Tyerman <ptyerman at ozemail.com.au> on 2004.10.07 at 15:55:40(12258)
Howdy All,

I found out on the news last night that Amorphophallus titanum is currently
in flower in the Tropical House at the Botanic Gardens in Sydney,
Australia. I thought I'd inform the group in case there was anyone who was
in Sydney who didn't know about it and wanted to see it.

If I'd known about it being about to open I would have arranged to get up
there to see it, but unfortunately it only appeared on the news last night
already in flower and I couldn't just drop everything to get up there and
see it today. Most frustrating as i definitely would have got up there if
I'd known.

Hopefully all of those on this list in the Sydney region interested in
Amorphs will get a chance to view it as it is only the second time there
has ever been a flowering in Australia I have been told. Last night the
Botanic Gardens remained open until midnight to allow people to view
it. I'd imagine if still open this evening the same will likely apply.

Cheers.

Paul Tyerman

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From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2004.10.07 at 17:07:08(12259)
>From: Paul Tyerman
>Reply-To: Discussion of aroids
>To: Discussion of aroids
>Subject: [Aroid-l] Amorph titanum flowering in Sydney, Australia
>Date: Fri, 08 Oct 2004 08:55:40 +1000
>

Dear Paul,
Thanks for sharing this news with us! A happy event indeed. Perhaps Dr. Hay (if he reads thsi) may be so kind as to try to determine from wence this plant came, if by chance from a Jim Symon seed collection? I`m sorry that you missed seeing this amazing bloom. Any details as to how tall the bloom was, etc.??
The Best,
Julius Boos

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From: "Alistair Hay" <ajmhay at hotmail.com> on 2004.10.07 at 17:34:36(12261)
Ooops: sorry Paul. In the frenzy of getting the message out via various channels, we (the Sydney Bot Gards) forgot about Aroid-l....... Next time......
The flower is closing now, so was only fully open for about 36 hrs.
The smell was quite clearly of over-ripe Camembert served on a bed of sun-drenched road kill.
Alistair

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From: "Alistair Hay" <ajmhay at hotmail.com> on 2004.10.07 at 18:52:09(12264)
Hi Julius,

It was a baby at 1.33 metres. And yes its a
sibling of many that have flowered much earlier in the US and Europe.

I attribute the long delay in getting ours to
flower to the psychological trauma caused by the idea of applying NPK in the
necessary quantities - most Australian plants are killed by even 'normal'
quantities of these elements, especially Phosphorus.

Eventually the horticultural staff who look
after our TAs rose to my challenge to kill a subset of our holdings by
overfeeding! The result was pots toppling over as they bulged with swelling
tubers, and one (at 15.5 kg) producing a flower.

Alistair

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From: Paul Tyerman <ptyerman at ozemail.com.au> on 2004.10.08 at 05:15:26(12269)
At 10:34 8/10/04, you wrote:

Ooops: sorry Paul. In the frenzy of getting the message out via various
channels, we (the Sydney Bot Gards) forgot about Aroid-l....... Next time......

The flower is closing now, so was only fully open for about 36 hrs.
Alistair,

Thanks for the response. Definitely frustrating, but given the amount of
media work you'd be doing for this I think perfectly understandable.
Were you able to get pollen from one of the American titans that
flowered recently so that seed could be attempted?

The smell was quite clearly of over-ripe Camembert served on a bed of
sun-drenched road kill.
I just LOVE that description. WAY too easy to picture unfortunately. LOL

Thanks again for the response. I have passed it on to one of the Aussie
bulb groups plus the website information etc.

Cheers.

Paul Tyerman

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From: Jean -Paul FERRY <jpcferry2 at wanadoo.fr> on 2004.10.08 at 08:39:19(12270)
dear Alistair,
Amorphophallus titanum smell French camenbert . Hum , it' 's very good.
Congratulations !
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From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2004.10.10 at 05:37:51(12275)
>From: "Alistair Hay"
>Reply-To: Discussion of aroids
>To: "Discussion of aroids"
>Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Amorph titanum flowering in Sydney, Australia
>Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2004 11:52:09 +1000
>

Dear Alistair,
Thanks for the information and congrats on getting any size of a bloom! I read where the spadix collapsed a very short time after it opened, I wonder if this is not another sign of something I have been observing in aroids in many species over many years. I have suggested that many Aroids (the genus Arisaema has taken this to the ultimate) will produce a smaller than usual bloom that, though it may have female flowers (in Arisaema the female flowers are NOT produced) , is never intended and in fact can and does not produce fruit/seed, the small bloom only contributes pollen to the genitic 'trail'. This might occur when a plant 'senses' that it is stressed (too many growing seasons without a tuber large enough to sustain the development of fruit/seed) or is growing in a site less-then-optimum to producing a large tuber which is able to sustain the length of time necessary for fruit/seed production.&nbs
p; I was wiondering if some dissections could possibly be done to the remains of the female flowers on this or future small blooms to see if all the necessary parts are there which might indicate if these female flowers could ever develop seed. Just food for thought.
Good Growing!
Julius

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From: "Alistair Hay" <ajmhay at hotmail.com> on 2004.10.10 at 17:38:40(12277)
Hi Julius, I guess Wilbert is the person to know
to what extent smaller than normal Amorphophallus blooms are female-sterile,
though I have certainly seen small paeoniifolius, bulbifer, variabilis and
galbra producing fruits. This titanum had normal-looking pistils, but one of our
illustrators is doing a botanical painting including dissections and I will ask
her to look out for whether or not there are functional-looking
ovules.
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From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2004.10.11 at 02:11:39(12278)
>From: "Alistair Hay"
>Reply-To: Discussion of aroids
>To: "Discussion of aroids"
>Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Amorph titanum flowering in Sydney, Australia
>Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 10:38:40 +1000
>

Hello Alistair,
Whatever you may learn might be interesting, as who knows at what sized bloom a plant may begin to 'allow' fruit/seed to be produced. I just know that this issue keeps 'bugging' me. Another example of this pollen-only 'thing' was a plant (actually a seedling) of Cyrtosperma cuspidispathum that bloomed at a friend`s home when it was only 6" or so tall, bear in mind that this species can easily reach 2 M (12'+) or more, mine bloomed when it was around 1.5 M tall and kept growing!
Thanks again,
Good Growing,
Julius

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From: Jean -Paul FERRY <jpcferry2 at wanadoo.fr> on 2004.10.11 at 09:49:25(12279)
Dear Alistair,
The communication passes very well to France because your Amorphophallus titanum passed to television and in radio operator .Personnellement I did not see it but my friends who know my interêt for Aracées m ' prevented.
It still the camenbert smells?
In a friendly way
Genevieve Ferry
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From: "Wilbert Hetterscheid" <hetter at xs4all.nl> on 2004.10.12 at 08:40:44(12283)
Yup,
reduced inflorescences have lower numbers of female flowers than usual. I once
had a very small paeoniifolius with no female flowers at all. This mechanism
seems to be underlying the paradioecy in Arisaema as well.

Wilbert

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From: "Alistair Hay" <ajmhay at hotmail.com> on 2004.10.12 at 13:59:12(12284)
Excellent! It made Canadian news as
well.

Both the flower and the mouth-watering perfume

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