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  Another few Amorphophallus titanum seedling queries
From: ted.held at us.henkel.com on 2006.03.07 at 14:38:50(13917)
What happens to the titanum inflorescence after maturity? Does the thing just whither into mush or are the seeds borne on a stalk for some time afterward? How are the seeds dispersed? Is there edible flesh surrounding the seed? If so, how does the seed prevent getting scratched and otherwise attacked when the flesh is eaten? Are seedlings of titanum just distributed closely around the parent?

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2006.03.07 at 23:00:35(13922)
Reply-To : Discussion of aroids
Sent : Tuesday, March 7, 2006 2:38 PM
To : Discussion of aroids
Subject : [Aroid-l] Another few Amorphophallus titanum seedling queries

Dear Ted,

Brim away w/ questions, we have the answers!!
A. titanum in its natural state if cross-pollinated by insects (the exact ID
of which insect I believe is still in doubt, it may be a species of small
bee, or carrion flies or beetles). The male/upper portion of the spadix and
the spathe then fall away, and the peduncle lengthens as the seed/fruit
which remain on the lower retained portion of the spadix develop over
weeks/months. Green-colored at first, when the fruit are ripe they turn
bright scarlet. I`m certain that many animals and birds find them
attractive as food and do eat the ripe fruit, but the most important birds
that seem to be the distributors of the seed away from the mother plant are
a species of giant hornbill. After swallowing the ripe fruit, and after a
fairly short interval of time, these huge birds cough up/ regurgitate the
seed once the fruit covering the seeds has been digested in their upper
stomach, so the seed does not 'suffer' going through the entire alimantary
canal where it might be destroyed. It would be interesting top know if
seed/fruit eaten by other wild animals like civet cats, etc. manage to
survive and germinate.
NOW---if all you lurkers and non-IAS members out there WERE in fact members,
you would own your set of Aroideanas and be able to read the WONDERFUL
articles by Jim Symon and our very own 'Lord Phallus' (AKA 'king dick'),
Wilbert Hetterschied, on their sucessful quest for these giant plants in
their natural habitat, and see photos of all that I have described above,
the infructesence in the wild, the heads of the hornbills shot by natives,
So COME ON, peoples, join the IAS, you will find it well worth the pittance
of yearly membership ($25.00/year), and the rewards are immense. We need
your membership $$ and your support to continue to publish Aroideana and
keep the IAS vibrant and interesting to YOU people, and also to provide all
this invaluable information FREE to you great growers out there who love
Good Growing!!!


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