Monday, July 12, 2010

Worlds Largest Flower!


Amorpophallus bulbifer
Native to northeast India, this exotic looking tuberous perennial forms a solitary, deep green, 3 parted leaf up to 4 feet in height. The leaf is up to 3 feet across on top of a deep olive green stalk that is spotted silvery green.
The flower inflorescence is up to 18 inches tall and is composed of a hooded spaethe up to 4 inches wide that is pink inside and greenish outside. The spadix is pink.
Hardy north to zone 7a and requires moist but well drained soil in light to medium shade.
Reproduction is from bulblets which form at the major leaf divisions as well as at the apex junction of the petiole.

Amorphophallus kiusianus ( Kyushu Voodoo Lily )

* photos taken on Sep 3 2017 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

Amorpophallus konjac ( Devil's Tongue )
Native from India to Sumatra; this huge tuberous perennial plant reaches a total height up to 10 feet and has gigantic leaves on top of the thick, leafstalk up to 8 feet tall. The solitary leaf is huge, up to 4 or rarely to 7 feet across. It is deep green, speckled silver and is 3 parted.
The exotic, flower inflorescence is up to 6 feet tall. The deep purple spaethe is deep purple as is the tapering spadix which is up to 22 inches long. The flower stalk is deep purple spotted white.
Requires moist but well drained soil and is the hardiest of the Amorphallus's surviving as far north as zone 5b in light to medium shade.
Small tubers are borne off the stolons produced by the large corm which is up to 10 inches across.

* photos taken on 4th of July @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 in Washington, D.C.

* photo of unknown source on internet

* photos taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

Amorphophallus paeonifolius ( Whitespot Giant Arum )
Native to southern China and Indonesia; this spectacular plant has a huge leaf on a thick stalk that is up to 8 feet in height. The single leaf is 3 parted and light green marbled in silver. The leaf is up to 10 feet across and is composed of many light green leaflets. While often grown for its foliage which lasts from spring until late in summer; its flowers are quite outstanding, hard to describe. The spaethe is cup shaped, up to 12 inches tall and very wide.
The tubers on these plants are huge!
Hardy north to zone 7b and requires light to medium shade on moist but well drained soil in light to medium shade.

* photo taken on 4th of July 2010 in Washington, D.C.

Amorphophallus titanum ( Titan Arum )
This Sumatran rainforest native is only hardy in the tropics from zones 10 and warmer; however where it can be grown it is among the worlds most spectacular flowering plants. Reaching a total size up to 21 x 25 feet making it one of the worlds largest perennials which also has the worlds largest flower; it has a huge solitary leaf up to 21 x 25 feet on a stalk up to 17 feet in height. The leaf is 3 parted and dark green. Each leaflet is pinnate and deeply lobed.
Each year, the old leaf dies and is then replaced by a new one. When the corm has stored enough energy, it becomes dormant for about 4 months. The process then repeats.
The flower stalk is up to 10 feet tall and the spaethe is up to 6 x 4 feet with the spadix being up to 10.
The corms are the largest of any plant, up to 110 pounds or more. In fact sometimes much more, the largest on record was 200 pounds recorded on a plant growing at Kew Gardens, England. While previously extremely rare both in the wild and in cultivation; the Titan Arum is becoming more common due to pollination techniques that make reproduction easier. If I lived in a tropical area and had a small fish pond; you bet I would have a Titan Arum to showcase it. What an awesome plant!

* photos of unknown internet source

* photo found on internet - U.S. Botanical Gardens ( in bloom )

* photo found on internet - Kew Gardens in England ( flower in development )

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to refer to this post if i ever get brave enough to plant one of these! Lots of great info!