You just can’t hurry some plants. I planted this Amorphophallus bulbifer in March and have waited patiently for some sort of growth. Like many tuberous aroids amorphophallus appear late in spring and grow when they decide they want to rather than when you want them to! Kept moist in the greenhouse the large tuber produced nothing until a month ago and then a thick shoot appeared and today the flower (inflorescence) finally opened. The ‘flower’ is about 30cm high.
It is hardly a thing of great beauty but interesting just the same. It is slightly pathetic compared with its bigger relation the Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) from Sumatra, but on the other hand this plant from N E India and Nepal is a lot easier to grow and I have grown it before. As the name suggests it produces lots of offsets that can be removed to increase stock. In the past I have found that the tubers produce the characteristic ‘palmlike’ single leaves for a couple of years and then flower and, in my experience, the tubers then have a rest and do not produce a leaf till the next year. I have never risked the plant outside before but here in the milder conditions of Ireland I might give it a go.
Amorphophallus means ‘shapeless phallus’ – need I say more!