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  Dracontium prancei question
From: plantguy at zoominternet.net (Daniel Devor) on 2007.11.24 at 15:40:07(16720)
Hi All,

I have a simple question about Dracontium prancei and that is whether it only flowers after a dormancy? I got one of these beauties 3 years ago from a reliable Aussie source (he can volunteer his name if he wishes) and it bloomed the first year I had it before growing a petiole several months later. Since then it has been evergreen and has actually proven to be a fantastic member of the genus even for a northern gardener growing it indoors for the winter (something that can not be said for many other species I am afraid to say). It has only ever had a single petiole at one time, with the old petiole dyeing away after the new one gets completely developed (if you count that as 2 petioles then so be it, but I personally do not). A new petiole is now developing and it looks like it will be nicely taller than the old one which was approximately 1.5 m tall (~4.5 feet). When I repotted the plant while in growth a year ago the tuber was approximately 7-8 cm in diameter. It has never produced any offsets and t
hat is OK by me as long as momma continues to do well.

I have no intention of allowing this plant to go dormant, but am curious if this is the only way to get another influorescence?? Since getting them out of dormancy is the tough part for me and the petiole/leaf is more inspired than the influorescence I ask more out of curiosity rather than this being something I will put into practice.

Thanks,

Dan

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From: ju-bo at msn.com (ju-bo at msn.com) on 2007.11.25 at 11:08:13(16725)
To: Discussion of aroids (aroid-l at gizmoworks.com)
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Dear Dan,

Send us a pic. of the inflorscence and we`ll give you an opinion of it`s ID.
To give a simple answer to your involved question, I don`t believe that the plant will bloom if kept/grown as an evergreen for the 12 months of the year. Many plants need the ''stimulus'' of a dry dormancy to induce blooming. It might be that the ''dry'' season tells the plant that all is NOT well in its surroundings, and so induces a bloom/reproduction. If it has water all year, all is well, so why not just grow new leaves, and increase the size of the corm. But IF it becomes dry!---you go dormant, and when the ''rains'' start again, produce a bloom, set seed (all other plants of this species in the vicinity will ALSO be blooming after the dry season!!) and reproduce! Dormancy might also induce the "mother"-corm to produce the little bulbils/mini-corms on top of the main corm.

The Best,

Julius

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From: plantguy at zoominternet.net (Daniel Devor) on 2007.11.25 at 20:11:59(16730)
Hi Julius,

I feel pretty confident of the ID as it came from a member here that is a
great grower of Dracontium down under, but you can see a pic of the
influorescence from 3 years ago here:
http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b124/TreasuredBotanicals/Dracontium/?action=view¤t=Dracontiumpranceicomposite.jpg

I do not believe in posting pics to the messages as it causes problems for
some people with slow connections.

If it requires dormancy then I hope I never see a bloom again to be honest.
I would hate to have it go dormant as it is just a lovely plant with the
petiole and leaf.

I do have a few other Dracontium, including one that is not identified from
Brasil that has offset like mad in the year I've owned it. I wish my D.
prancei would do that, but I know it had babies when I unpotted and they are
just not prone to growing like my other species.

I should say that others like D. gigas, pittierii and peruvianum have not
appreciated my home environment and have never done well for me. They seem
to hang on OK, but never are happy it seems.

I think you are right about the blooming all at the same time. I guess I
was hoping that it came from an area that did not have a true dormancy
induced by a dry season.

Thanks,

Dan

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From: gcyao at mydestiny.net (George Yao) on 2007.11.25 at 22:44:20(16735)
Hello Dan,

I also have a prancei. I found that when I
detached the cormlets, then they sprouted after
some time, whereas, those that remained attached
did not sprout. They probably got absorbed back
into the main tuber. Also, the bigger the
cormlet, the higher the chance of survival.

George Yao

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