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  Re: [aroid-l] Debate about Stink (Re-fumigated)
From: "Randy Story" story at caltech.edu> on 2002.09.16 at 18:47:43(9425)
Hi Ron (and Tsu Yang),

I was out of town so didn't have a chance to comment on this earlier.

Regarding Durian vs. Amorphophallus smells:

I related most of this story on aroid-l a few months ago, so sorry for the

I brought into work both A. bulbifer and Sauromatum tubers that bloomed. In
each case these eventually smelled up the room they were in and had to be
moved to a fume hood. A few months earlier, however, there was a semi-panic
when a noxious smell filled the entire floor (not just one room). Thinking
that there must have been some sort of chemical spill, people called the
chemical safety department! I recognized the smell as Durian but people
were not convinced it could be a "mere" fruit. Eventually the remains were
found in a trash container--a Vietnamese janitor had snacked on a Durian.
Chemical safety had arrived but their services were unneeded.

I have tried Durian once. It was a thawed frozen one, so I realize the
taste was inferior. Maybe I will have to taste one of the "fresh" ones
available in the market these days (although I realize these are still
inferior to "real" fresh ones). I wouldn't say that I liked the fruit, but
I didn't detest it. The smell was unpleasant though, so we had to put the
carcass outside. The next morning it was covered with dozens of (not
small!) metallic green beetles. I had not noticed these beetles running
around the yard prior to this--presumably the scent of the fruit was a big
draw. Ron, I really like the idea of the dual scent features of the fruit
and the resultant attraction of large consumers and seed spreaders while
repelling the little guys (perhaps the "thorns" play a role here too??). It
makes a lot of sense. My experience with the beetles seems possibly in
conflict with this, though. Perhaps the repulsive phenomenon is only with
the unopened or partially cracked open (ripe) fruit, but after it has been
mostly gnawed at things change? I'm curious if you have any ideas.

I actually don't have anything against Spaths. I gave my mom one a couple
of years ago.

Just curious: You mention your "Brit humour". I was under the impression
that you are Irish and that they don't like to be called Brits (which I
thought is restricted to people from Great Britain). Do I have this wrong?


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