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  question about tubers vs. bulbs
From: SongString at aol.com on 2003.05.05 at 17:19:08(10174)
Should I call my Amorphophallus Konjac growing out of a bulb or tuber? What
is the difference? Is it just that a tuber may be shaped different than a

From: Don Martinson llmen at wi.rr.com> on 2003.05.05 at 20:02:23(10177)
Should I call my Amorphophallus Konjac growing out of a bulb or tuber? What
is the difference? Is it just that a tuber may be shaped different than a

Bulbs are made up of layers or scales. Good example, an onion.

Tuber is probably most appropriate, being defined as "A short, thick,
usually, but not always subterranean stem or branch bearing buds or
'eyes' and serving as a storage organ, as in the potato..." (Hortus

Can I get seeds from a tuberous plant, such as the A. Konjac and have new
plants come from seeds from the Konjac, or does it only come from more little

Both, actually, although I think most of us just take the small extra
tubers that form each year if we wish additional plants

Mine has never bloomed before. Does it have to be pollinated in
order to keep growing and producing more plants? If it only grows from
tubers, why does it need to be pollinated?

Pollination is only required if you wish seed (see above), and I
believe that most clones of A. konjac are self-sterile or at least do
not have the proper parts receptive at the proper times for self

Don Martinson

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2003.05.05 at 22:36:38(10181)
Dear Nancy,

I`ll try---it is growing from a corm or tuber, as a bulb has layers like an
As in other plant families, most aroids reproduce both by vegitative means
(small new tubers or cuttings, the new plants are clones of the 'mother') or
by sexual means (seeds). It now gets complicated---some aroids, and I
believe Am. konjac is one of them, are capable of producing fertile seeds
without pollenation, and all the new plants from these non-fertilized seed
are clones of the mother plant! If fertilized, the seed carry the
properties of both the male plant and the female, leading to diversity, some
seedlings showing the characteristics of the male/pollen plant, others of
the female plant, and others a good 'mix' of the two. This is said to be a
'good' thing, as the properties of two plants are mixed. Your plant will
bloom, and then may or may not develop a seed-head. It may be several
years before it re-builds enough 'strength'/size to bloom again.
I hope this helps.

Good growing,


From: SongString at aol.com on 2003.05.06 at 04:45:18(10184)
In a message dated 5/5/03 11:28:01 PM, ju-bo@msn.com writes:

<< It may be several

years before it re-builds enough 'strength'/size to bloom again. >>

From: Dan Levin levin at pixar.com> on 2003.05.06 at 06:55:16(10185)
Hi Julius & Nancy,

No doubt there will be a flurry of responses on this topic, but in
the interest of providing yet another data point: my largest tuber
of Am. konjac (approx. 10" / 25 cm diameter) blooms like clockwork
every year in April. It then takes a few months off before commencing
with its foliar phase, which here in the San Francisco Bay Area persists
until December or January before collapsing. A few months more rest,
then the cycle repeats. It's been 4 years so far, with little to no deviation
from the above schedule.

-Dan Levin

From: "Mitch ." iamwhatiam52 at hotmail.com> on 2003.05.06 at 14:48:56(10188)
Hello Nancy,
After blooming, your tuber may rest a year and not grow at all, but mine
usually grow a leaf the same year, and the larger ones (over 10" diameter)
bloom nearly every year. YOUR TUBER MAY ALSO SPLIT, by putting out several
leaves, and leave you with several smaller bulbs.

As for what they are worth, many of us auction them on eBay.

From: "Michael Marcotrigiano" mmarcotr at email.smith.edu> on 2003.05.06 at 18:46:02(10190)
In New England the flowering ones sometimes have such a short foliar
season that the resulting tuber is smaller the next year and does not
flower. Sometimes they split into multiple leaves and do not flower. I
had mine (not big enough I thought) in my onion cellar and just last
month thought a cat died in the kitchen. A trip to the basement revealed
an etiolated 10 foot stalk with a pale stinker at the end. New
discovery: Light is not necessary for the tuber to stink you out of your

From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at msn.com> on 2003.05.06 at 23:36:14(10191)
Hello Dan,

Thanks for the input. I`m sure that some 'clones' bloom more regularly
than others, lucky you! :--)
We must bear in mind that A. konjac is in MOST cases derived from cultivated
material that has been selectively grown as a food item for thousands of
years, so the species is capable of all kinds of 'clones' and mutations.
Fanny and Craig Phillips, founding members of the IAS, and both legendary
Amophophallus/Aroid growers, had several different clones, some dwarf that
bloomed when tiny, 9" miniature replicas of the other GIANT clones that
bloomed at 8' tall!
Wild-collected species should/will tend to be more 'standardized' and
So, I guess the thing to do is to fertilize like crazy, grow for as long as
possible before dormancy sets in, and some may be lucky enough to have a
bloom every or nearly year in A. konjac!
I urge you all to make the effort and join the IAS as there is SO much good
printed articles on the growing of Amorphophallus sps., one in particular on
cultivation methods by the Amorphophallus 'King-grower, my friend Craig
Allen at Fairchild Gardens in Miami, Florida who presently has several
specimens of the GIANT species in bloom, and others by 'Lord Phallus', my
friend Wilbert Hetterschied on the different species and growing hints for
these rare and most interesting plants!!

Good growing!


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