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Amorphophallus gigas Teijsm. & Binn


This is one of my two A.gigas grown from seed distributed by J.Symon in the end of 1994 after his trip to Sumatra. The vigor of the plants is rather uneven; the smaller one (not shown here) is about the size of the smaller of the two larger leaves. Ever since the seed germination, there was no pronounced dormancy. Just like A.titanum and A.prainii, A.gigas keeps going and going.

A. gigas seems to be quite resistant to maltreatment. It has survived several nights with temepratures dropping to low 40s F, without losing the leaves. Later, it survived being flattened by a bicycle which fell on it, bending the main petiole so it became nearly parallel to the soil surface. Actually, I suspect that the entire tuber has rotated with the stem, perhaps severing some roots. After two weeks with a support for the petiole, the plant is standing up on its own as if nothing happened. The third stem got squished, though.

This species is very susceptible to aphid and spider mite infestations. The damage occurs very quickly. It also dislikes low humidity, with similar symptoms as A.odoratus: the leaflets curl down severely.

This is a one year old tuber, not quite an inch across, and just about breaking its first dormancy in the spring of 1996. In the upper left corner, the first root can be seen as a strand of white color.
Half a year later, the gigas seems quite happy, with three stems growing at the same time. This is the top view of the upper leaf.
General view of the entire plant. The newest, third stem is barely visible between the big one and the label. Below, two closeups of the stems, under slightly different lighting conditions. The one on the right also shows the tip of the third leaf. The stem texture is fairly rough and irregular.
Neither of my two A.gigas seedlings has gone seriously dormant since germinating from seed in 1995. This is a closeup of a typical situation: even before the old petiole rots away, the new one starts pushing up. The bulge in the upper part of the photo are the leaflets of the new leaf trying to break loose from the confinement of the old shriveled stem.

All photos Copyright © 1996 Krzysztof Kozminski

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