Tiny Titan at Como

Posted on April 3rd, 2008 by

I recently posted on the Amorphophallus titanum plants that we donated to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory (presently known more widely and unofficially as the Como Conservatory) in St. Paul a few years ago. Since then, the dormant corm has begun to grow. I and the Como curators looked at the growth (from a 25-pound corm), and initially concluded that it was a leaf, due both to the relatively small size of the corm and to the fact that visible pigmentation was mostly green/yellow.

The shoot is an inflorescence! It’s an unusually small inflorescence, and of an unusual color, but this plant is now officially the second Amorphophallus titanum plant to flower in Minnesota. If the color of the inflorescence is not a one-time anomaly, this clone of A. titanum has what might be the lightest-colored inflorescence on record. It is known that the color of the inflorescence is variable from clone to clone. Perry’s spathe, for instance, was dark maroon, whereas some other clones have lighter-colored spathes, sometimes with patterns. If the unusual features of the Como plant persist, this will be an interesting addition to the A. titanum gene pool.

Click on the thumbnails below for the appearance of the inflorescence as of March 24, 2008. Pictured is Margaret Yeakel-Twum of the Como Conservatory, Keeper of the Titanums. Photos courtesy of Tina Dombrowski and the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.

Thanks also to the Como Curators for…naming their plant after me(!). Baby O’Brien (shortened to “Bob”). Really. No kidding. They did. :=)

I’ll be posting photos of further development of this Tiny Titan soon.

Click here to view Perry (our largest Amorphophallus titanum) via webcam.

3-24-08-4x6-150.jpg 3-24-08-myt-with-bud-4x6-150.jpg

 


3 Comments

  1. Brandy says:

    Wow, Bob is so tiny!

  2. Brian O'Brien says:

    Brandy – I was up there yesterday, and Bob had a visual presence in reality that simply does not come through in photographs (as did Perry, and as does Perry’s current leaf). I’m planning a separate post on the experience.