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TRUDY RETURNS to the Garden! Friday, June 12, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 
  tiny is open

7/6/09
Odor gone but still a floral display
tiny is open

7/4/09 8am Fireworks:
Fully open, fully stinky
tiny opening

7/3/09 9pm: Just opening; no smell yet




tiny with kids

7/3/09 9am Getting ready to open

Trudy Returns

7/1/09: Trudy collapsing and another gets ready

Trudy Returns

6/26/09: Trudy's little sister at 30.5"

Trudy Returns

6/25/09: Trudy's and little sister.

Trudy Returns

6/25/09: Trudy's male flowers above, female flowers below..

trudy with window

6/25/09; Trudy continues to close.


trudy with window

6/24/09; Trudy closing. Window to view flowers

trudy pollen

6/24/09: Pollen on strands in Trudy

Trudy Returns

6/23/09: Trudy and sister


Trudy Returns

6/23/09: Trudy opens at 71.75"

6/22/09 at 9pm: Starting to unfurl

Trudy Returns

6/22/09: Trudy at 71"
Ready to Bloom -
Likely tonight

trudy close up

6/21/09: Color in upper spathe

trudy june 21

6/21/09
Color in seam

trudy june 21

6/21/09
Grew 1.5" to 69.5"

trudy spathe

6/20/09 Trudy at 66'
Top of spathe darkening

trudy jun e20

6/20/09: Trudy at 66'
Side of spathe darkening

Trudy returns

6/19/09: Trudy at 66''
Grew 1" overnight.

Trudy returns

6/19/09: Trudy at 66''
Color showing in spathe.

Trudy returns

6/19/09: Trudy at 66''
Color showing in spathe.

Trudy Returns

6/18/09: Trudy at 65''
Grew 3" overnight.

Trudy Returns

6/18/09: Trudy at 65''
First hint of color in spathe.

Trudy June 17 2009

6/17/09: Trudy at 62''
Grew 2'' overnight.

trudy at 60 inches

6/16/09: Trudy at 60''
Grew 4'' overnight!

Trudy Returns

6/15/09: Trudy at 55.5" with Aidan.

Trudy Returns

6/15/09: Trudy at 55.5", grew 3.5" overnight.

Trudy Returns

6/14/09: Trudy at 52", grew 4" overnight.

Trudy Returns

6/13/09: Trudy at 48", grew 1.5" overnight.

Trudy Arrives

6/12/09: Trudy in the Garden's Tropical House at 46''.

Trudy Arrives

6/12/09: Trudy arrives at the Garden at 3pm and
is unloaded in the Tropical House.




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TRUDY'S ENCORE: June 2009

The largest flowering structure in the plant world belongs to Amorphophallus titanum, affectionately known as the “Titan Arum” or “Corpse Flower”. This structure is actually not a single flower but an inflorescence (a stalk of many flowers). The flowers are a mixture of tiny male and female flowers held out of sight at the base of the central phallus-like structure (spadix) surrounded by a pleated skirt-like covering (spathe) that is bright green on the outside and deep maroon inside when opened. The female flowers mature before the male (pollen producing) flowers to avoid self-pollination. 

Ever since this plant was first discovered in Sumatra, Indonesia in 1878 by Italian botanist Odoardo Boccari, it has excited world-wide attention due to its massive size, fascinating appearance and habit of producing a foul odor resembling rotten flesh (to attract insects that pollinate it).  To assist in the process, the ‘flower-spadix’ actually heats up (to human body temperature).

This plant and its relatives are members of a genus often referred to as Voodoo lilies in the
arum family (Araceae). Common relatives include the philodendron, calla lily and cobra lily
(the Jack-in-the-pulpit of eastern US).  These have an underground tuber.

The plant typically requires at least 7 years of age before it blooms but may go much longer.  Trudy arose from a seed collected in Sumatra in 1995; it first bloomed here in July, 2005
(at age 12 years).  The tuber (swollen underground stem) must reach at least about 30 pounds before blooming. Trudy’s tuber now weighs 54 lbs and fills the pot, requiring constant watering and food. After blooming, Trudy ‘rested’ for 4 years, producing a large leaf and replenishing its tuberous stores.

In the normal life cycle, the plant produces a single enormous branched leaf that looks like a small tree reaching 10-15 ft (on display in the Tropical House). The leaf will go completely dormant after about 16 months and the tuber then ‘rests’ for awhile. When it next sprouts, it will produce either another single leaf or the enormous bloom.

The flower bud may take months to form but then only remains open for a day or two before collapsing to restart the cycle. The characteristic ‘corpse’ odor is only produced about a day before the collapse. Trudy’s first flower in 2005 reached 5.5 ft, but it looks like this flower
will be taller.

If pollinated, the stalk grows into a large club-like head of orange-red seeds.

Check back daily to follow Trudy's growth.

TRUDY TIME LAPSE:

 

SEEDLINGS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FROM THIS PLANT.
*Watch this video clip of Odora (last year's Titan Arum) made by SF Chronicle*


MEMBERS: Exclusive Evening Viewings (Subject to Trudy's timing, check back for updates.)

The Garden will be open exclusively to members on the following evenings:

Today! Tuesday, June 23, 5 - 6:30pm
(Garden closes at 7pm)

UC Botanical Garden members enjoy unlimited Garden entry. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to watch the Titan Arum flower with a Garden membership. Memberships can be purchased at the Kiosk or by calling 510-643-2755 x 03.


 




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