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Discussion in 'Botany Photo of the Day Submissions' started by janet bryan, Sep 17, 2009.
As submitted previously for identification, from Kafountine, Cassamance, Senegal.
Its beautiful... Unique picture!!!!
Do these have any visible odor? Do you know if they're a bulb, root, corm.........growth? They make me think of members of the Arum family. What a gorgeous plant!
And I agree...what a fabulous image!
Tuber. They're definitely Aroids, C. Wick. (and visible odour? They have a noticeable fug, but I've never been around an Amorpho that has smelled so bad I could see it...)
And I agree - stunning picture!
Amorphophallus aphyllus (Hook.) Hutch. is an aroid (member of the Arum family known correctly as Araceae). The outer portion is the spathe while the inner is the spadix. The spathe is not a flower as is commonly believed but instead the flowers grow on the spadix during sexual anthesis. The spathe is simply a modified leaf.
Almost all members of the genus Amorphophallus produce an unattractive odor, many quite foul. The odor is known as a pheromone and is used to attract pollinating insects.
The pheromone of the largest of the genus, Amorphophallus titanum, is commonly called considered to smell like rotting flesh.
Although called a tuber by growers, correctly the portion below ground is a stem. Amorphophallus species have their stem (tuber) growing underground.
With only a few exceptions that tuber produces a single petiole that supports a single divided leaf. When the plant is in flower and has produced an inflorescence the petiole and leaf commonly vanish and are not seen. Even though we correctly call the stem of the genus a tuber it is still just a stem that produces a single petiole which supports a single divided leaf. Botanist Dr. Wilbert Hetterscheid is the world authority in the genus Amorphophallus and explains, "The tuber is indeed the strongly condensed underground stem consisting in most species of only one node being renewed every year with few exceptions existing."
Since many growers don't fully understand the correct meaning of the term "stem" this may help:
http://www.exoticrainforest.com/What is a stem. What is a petiole.html
Fascinating plant as indeed many from this family are.