Thursday, June 12, 2014

A nasty little stinker - Amorphophallus cirrifer

On two occasions where my Amorphophallus cirrifer bloomed, I was checking my sandals and the surrounding for traces of dog poop. It really smelled like one, and although I have plenty of smelly plants in the collection, this one was so bad it made me want to puke.

This medium size plant is found in deciduous forests in central Thailand and had been known in the west since 1920s although it remained rare in cultivation until the e-trading era.
The inflorescence tried its best to mimic a dead rat - its very short flower stalk, the liver-coloured spathe and its grotesque long tapering hairy spadix that looked like the tail. And of course its odour - taking closeup pictures without a telephoto lens is a self-inflicted torture.  In terms of carrion mimicry, its right up there with the likes of Helicodiceros muscivorus and a few others mentioned in a round-up of smelly ugly plants.

This plant has a very long tuber which will pull the plant lower as it grows so it has to be kept in a deep pot . This plant is relatively new for me and I am still learning as it goes so any advice will be appreciated.


Claude said...

The amorphophallus is a fascinating genus, although ive always appreciated them from far away. Maybe someday I'll them...

Prospero said...

I have no advice to offer, but my Amorphophallus paeoniifolius bloomed two days ago. I think it's trying to mimic the delicate fragrance of a dead toad (and does quite a good job at it).


Hort Log said...

Its been some time I have comments that I did not trash and now I have 2 - one of whom even saved me the pain of returning the favour! With facebook and whats not nobody seems to blog anymore. My Amorphophallus bulbifer is spreading wildly so if any of you are keen, let me know.

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