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  Lack of a scent on the Anthurium regale spadix
From: "Steve Lucas Exotic Rainforest" <steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2007.01.19 at 11:45:31(15108)
I have made an "odd" observation regarding the flowering of my
Anthurium regale. As a result of my observation I'd like to ask
anyone else who may also have an Anthurium regale in flower to check
the spadix and see if your observations match my own or

Yesterday I asked Dr. Croat about something that appears
strange, at least to me. Anthurium regale is said to be rare
in nature yet it can become an enormous plant and the spadix is larger than many
aroids I have in my collection. The plant is capable of producing numerous
seeds. Dr. Croat has prompted me numerous times to check the spadix for a
scent. None has yet been detected and the plant appears to have
completed female anthesis. If anthuriums normally produce a scent on
their spadix (as much of the literature suggests) when ready to be pollinated in
order to attract insects to inspect these sugary liquids, why is mine not
producing a scent? Since mine has produced no scent after 32
days (I can't smell it, my wife can't smell it, and Steve Marak who
visited once could not smell it) and yet I can clearly see the exudate in
several photos, especially the the Day 30 photos, is the
plant possibly trying to attract a pollinator that is not common or is
unusual in some way?

When tasted the exudate is bitter sweet instead of
sweet. I could taste what I suspect is the oxalate crystals in the
liquid. That made me wonder if the plant attracts some very limited
group of pollinators that seek out this bitter sweet liquid.
But since the number of pollinators it attracts may be small it
thus produces only a limited supply of pollinated seeds. Thus the plant
remains less common (rare) in nature. I realize I have only
experienced one spadix on this species and something else may be unusual or
missing. But now I'll be checking for this the next time I get a spadix on
the plant. I also now have a second plant of reasonable size which should
produce a spadix within 12 months.

I'd really like to know if anyone else has experienced a lack
of scent or sweet taste in the exudate from their Anthurium
regale. I've received several emails from people who have told me of
plants currently in bloom. I'd really like to learn more about if
my "theory" is even possible?

If you'd like to see the documentation so far you can find the
photos at:


There are now several pages of photos since placing all of
them on a single page makes it impossible for those with a dial-up connection to
Steve Lucas

From: Geoffrey Kibby <Geoffaroid at aol.com> on 2007.01.22 at 14:19:46(15111)
Dear Steve,As an entomologist I will add my ten cents worth.... remember that some insects have quite phenomenal powers of scent detection (some male moths detect females up to a mile away based on just a couple of molecules-worth of scent!) and even though humans can't smell something it doesn't mean it there isn't a strong smell for the insects involved. I once did experiments with dead mice to see how quickly burying beetles which use dead animals for egg laying and a source of food for the hatching larvae would respond. Often within minutes of putting a dead mouse in a woodland beetles would start flying in from all over to lay their eggs. For my nose the mouse was not even beginning to smell but obviously the beetles found them very obviously smelly....Hope that helps,Regards,Geoffrey Kibby, London, U.K.p.s on a different topic: my wonderful plant of Synandrospadix has suddenly and unexpectedly succumbed to a spell of cold weather - tragedy!!! If anyone has a tuber they can spare/sell or trade plea
From: "Steve Lucas Exotic Rainforest" <steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2007.01.22 at 15:56:29(15112)
Thanks very much. I've received several private emails
with similar trains of thought. I sent my original query to "Dr." Julius
Boos the same day I sent it to Dr. Croat. Julius has a "way with
words". He answered my question in such detail and so vividly as to
totally explode my "theory". If you've been following my daily photo posts
on the spathe and spadix you will see I use comments from Dr. Croat,
Julius, LariAnn Garner and others to explain what can be seen each day. I
used a great deal of Julius' response to explain why my "theory" had little
value. Interestingly, Julius also used your "moth" explanation as
well. Oh well, it was a thought! Thanks for the responses. If
you're interested in reading what Julius and Dr. Croat have been saying about
the event, here is the link. There are now 3 pages of photos of the 35
days of the spathe and spadix.


Steve Lucas

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