Pattaya Daily News

25 May 2006 :: 13:05:22 pm 26916

Amorphophallus titanum,”Corpes Flowers” the largest flower.

Discovered in Sumatra by Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari in 1878. Found only in the equatorial tropical rainforests Sumatra , Indonesia. Seeds sent by Dr.Beccari to the Royal Botanic GardensKew (via Italy) were grown and the first blooming of this species in cultivation occurred at Kew in 1889 The first recorded bloom in the U.S, was at the NewYork Botanical Garden in 1937 where it caused quite a sensation
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Said to be the largest “flower” (in sheer bulk) in the world, It is technically an “Inflorescence”, or a cluster of flowers. The spadix can reach over 6 feet tall (the tallest ever recorded was over 10 feet) and when fully open the spathe  can reach about 3 feet across. The largest to flower in the world is the Titan Arum’s compatriot Rafflesia arnoldii, found in the rainforests of Sumatra and Bornco. (Our goal is to be the first in the world to grow and bloom one of house outside It’s natural habitat , but that’s another story.)

Thousands of true flowers are hidden inside at the base of the spadix ( the fleshy central column). The large frilly – edged leafy structure enclosing the spadix is called the spathe.

The completely unfurled spathe resembles an upturned fluted bell with a maroon interior, Only then are the flowers mature. Male and female flowers are separate, with the female flowers receptive first ,The male flowers releasing pollen the next day ; this ensures cross –pollination. A plant cannot produce seed unless pollen is provided from another plant. The spathe will unfurl   abount 3 weeks after the bud tip first appears; at its current growth rate (4 inches per day ), we prediet  this will be just about the end of july. The flower typically stays open for two days

When the flower is fully open, it emits a repulsive scent (hence ie Indonesian  common name). The odor, strongest at night, is to attract pollinators, With in its Sumatran  home are thought to be carrion beetles and sweat bees.
A single  huge umbrella-like leaf appears alternately with the flower and is itself quite “titanic” In cultivation it can reach over 12 feet high, its stalk in the wild can reach 20 feet tall and 15 feet across. The single

salk  grows several feet tall and as thick as a person’sthigh before braching into a compound leaf. An individual leaf may live for about a year before dying, The tuber then enters a short dormant period  before  producing another leaf or flower.

Curits’ Botanical  Magazine Image

These images  air from Curtis’ Botanical Magazin. The longest-running illustrated botanical and horticultural periodical. The first issue of this stunning series of plant portraits  was published in February1787  and it is still published today. Its sumptuous illustrations were  hand-colored  until 1948, am exceptional  history.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Announcement News

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