From: Ted.Held at hstna.com on 2004.10.14 at 17:26:45(12287)
I think I raised the question about aborting of flowers by the Aroid family Cryptocoryne on this list previously. Since the challenge in Cryptocoryne cultivation (in my estimation) is the production of a full inflorescence, early collapse of a promising bud is cause for weeping and gnashing of teeth.
If it is a case where the plant senses that the internal resources are insufficient for full maturation, it seems like an earlier shut down would be the mode of choice. It sounded like the titan had pretty much invested all the necessary energy in its flower when the early collapse occurred. This is a waste of plant resources. This seems to be the main failure mode in Cryptocoryne as well. That is, the plant's energy gets the thing almost to full term before it loses nerve.
Because of these points, my guess is that some other factor intervenes in the late stages and induces abortion. I think that external causes should be considered. In Cryptocoryne it is often the case that the failed inflorescence is not undersized at all, so it does not have to be the case that lack of a full complement of precursor tissues is the trigger. I also have some observations that suggest that abortion occurs in Cryptocoryne at times at a very early stage, before the inflorescence would be recognized as such by the casual cultivator.