Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pheeew! / Öğğğğğk!

Well, yesterday it finally did its thing. I took lots of photographs, and the smell was strong enough that I ended up with a headache. I read once of someone living in a very cold climate and was growing it as a houseplant (haha) had one pop off inside the house. I can't even imagine it.

Dün olacak nihayet oldu. Çok sayıda fotoğraf çektim, kokusundan başım ağrımaya başladı. Birkaç yıl önce, çok soğuk bir iklimde yaşadığı için salon bitkisi olarak yetiştiren birinin hikaysini okudum...çiçek evin içinde açmış. Düşünemiyorum bile, bu göz yaşartıcı bir kokudur gerçekten.

It's been fully open for two days now; yesterday was bad but it seems it was just revving up, because today it's completely disgusting and the pollen hasn't even dropped yet. The flies are having a party. Here's a short film of the activity.

İki gündür apaçık, dün kötü kokuyordu fakat sanki sadece prova yapıyormuş gibime geliyor çünkü bugün kendini aştı. Umarım komşular şikayet etmez. Sinekler şölen yapıyor resmen. Buyrun bir kısa film:



Today there was a new twist: When I went out, it was making a sound, almost as if something was boiling. I looked in and it was "boiling" - with little carrion beetles. They probably came at night, and have become trapped in the flower; the sound comes when they scrabble up the slippery sides of the inflorescence, then fall back down into the cup. In the picture below you can see them, along with the many stigmas of the individual female flowers. This is the only day that the flower can be pollinated; the pollen would have come on the beetles or flies from another flower in its male stage. Tomorrow, the pistils will no longer be receptive, but the anthers (which appear in the film as a white band) will open and shower the beetles with pollen. Then the walls will cease to be slippery and they will be able to emerge, to pollinate another flower. But of course there won't be one.


Bugün yeni bir gelişme de vardı: Bugün dışarıya çıktığımda hemen hemen birşey kaynıyormuşcaçına bir ses çıkıyordu çiçekten. İçeriye baktım ki sahiden kaynıyordu - küçük leş böcekleriyle. Her halde gece gelmişler. Şimdi çiçeğin içinde yakalanmış, ses ise, kaygan yanlarını tırmanlamaya çalışıp bazına tekrar düştüklerinde geliyor. Aşağıdaki resimde sayısız dişi çiçeklerinin tek pistilleri görülebilir. Sadece bugün tozlaşılabilirdi; pollen, başka bir çiçekten çıkan böcek veya sineklerde gelecekti. Yarın pistiller artık pollen kabul edemeyecek, üst fotoğrafta beyaz bir şerit olarak görünün erkek çiçekler ise polenlerini böceklerin üstüne bırakacak. Ondan sonra çiçeğin duvarları kayganlığını kaybedecek, böcekler çıkıp başka bir çiçeğe gidip tozlaşabilecek. Nafile tabi, bu tür Asya'da yetişiyor!

6 comments:

Peter said...

That is absolutely amazing! I'd be interested to hear a bit about the origins of your stock on that plant and whether it was grown from see, sprout or what???

I watched the video. I know you're a bug guy Bob, but there has to be an easier way to catch flies and beetles! ;-)

...although that does look pretty effective.

I almost think I remember you talking about this plant so many years ago. Where does it rank in on the largest flowers-scale?

And I am wondering...are the neighbors complaining about the smell?

Sazji said...

It was a corm that I got from the UW greenhouse. I broughht it last year; it grew a leaf only. The corm was about 6 pounds when I got it, I suppose. I overwintered it in the pot, outside. Some people take them out after they go dormant to avoid rot but mine doesn't seem to have rotted. What it did do was send up some little side buds that got killed by frost.

I think A. rivieri/konjac is next in line after A. titanum but I'm not sure about that. A. titanum is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world. Technically it is not a "flower" but an inflorescence - the actual flowers are tiny. (A daisy or a sunflower is also not "a" flower but actually an inflorescence - a disc covered with many small individual flowers.)

There are other larger inflorescences that are larger, but are branched, for example, the flowering structures on some palms etc.

The neighbors didn't complain to me - luckily my patio isn't close enough to the balconies to cause a problem but I did overhear someone saying '...çok pis kokuyor!' in a conversation (it really stinks) so I can only assume that it was inspired by Audrey back there...

Tijen said...

Amazing! Really! It reminds me of other things though!?!?!?
(I'd love to see your garden!)

Sazji said...

Oh? What other things I wonder, do tell? :) You are always welcome to visit my garden, next time you come to Istanbul for more than 3 hours, give me a call!

Sarah said...

Watched the video with my boys, they loved it and want me to buy one for each of them. Amazing plant

Sazji said...

It really is amazing, and in its non-flowring state it's beautiful, I think. Who knows, maybe they'll get so into it that they'll want to collect them all, and you can have carrion-of-the-week. :)