Friday, June 10, 2005

Titan Arum Number 3

It bloomed last night, so I only got a minor whiff when I went by this morning. Ann Althouse is correct; the smell is rather like a dead mouse in the wall behind the bed. This time they had another pot with a Titan Arum "leaf." The leaf looks just like a tree, until you look closely and see that the stalk and stem aren't made of wood, but of curled-up leaf material.

The docent explained that the blooms in the wild got much bigger, and I'd guess that they stink more in the wild too. I wonder if we treat them too nicely, so they grow quickly and bloom soon. Maybe if they have to spend a longer time filling up their storage, they store more?

There was a third pot with a "small" (14") shoot. They'll find out in a few more weeks whether this is going to be a leaf or a flower.

I wonder how they measure (or if they measure) the size of the storage root. Xrays would be a bit tough, since they'd have to go through so much dirt. Poking and prodding would need to be done very carefully. Ultrasound would be OK if the soil were saturated with water, but I don't know if the plant likes to live in saturated soil. I'll have to mosey by again and ask.

No comments: