Sinocrassula yunnanensis (Chinese Jade)
Sinocrassula yunnanensis (Chinese Jade) is a small, perennial, rosette succulent, up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall, that can eventually…
Back on the island where Sumatra Chickens originated, locals would capture the roosters of this breed during breeding season when they were most aggressive. Their reason for capturing the roosters was for cockfighting. This is fortunately no longer in practice but is part of why the roosters have the temperaments they do.
This is certainly a spectacular bird with lots of character that you won’t find in just any bird. One of two of these elegant birds with long and flowing tails will certainly give your yard a gorgeous flair.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden: Waiting for Mr. Stinky
The botanic garden and conservatory features some of nature's most impressive tropical sights – but you just might have to hold your breath.
It was a glorious day at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, one that botanists and plant lovers had waited years to see. Mr. Stinky, one of the world's weirdest plants, had just bloomed, growing a stalk of flowers nearly five feet tall and releasing the odor of rotting flesh. In the jungles of Sumatra, where the titan arum, or Amorphophallus titanum, grows wild, the smell attracts corpse-loving carrion beetles, which then transport pollen to create a new titan.
Mr. Stinky's big moment at Fairchild came in 1998. Though many titans die after a single flowering period, Mr. Stinky bloomed again in 2003. Audrey III, a Mr. Stinky descendant, also bloomed twice, in 2003 and 2006. Alice, another descendant, bloomed in 2005. All have died, but descendants grow in a preparation garden a mile from the main attraction.
Once brought to the conservatory, each offspring will produce its single leaf – they can grow to more than 12 feet tall – but blooms can take years.
No worry. Fairchild has plenty to delight Carl Lewis, director of the 83-acre garden, and the thousands who visit the park every year.
Named after horticulturist David Fairchild, who introduced mangos, pistachios and nectarines to the United States, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden opened in 1938 to study and preserve tropical plants. William Lyman Phillips, from the same firm as New York City Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted, mapped out the lush grounds. Visitors stroll walkways or take trams, where guides explain the beautiful and bizarre flora they see, such as the eucalyptus tree with rainbow-colored bark and a palm with actual branches.
In the conservatory itself, where fragile plants from around the world grow, Lewis watches the durian tree with anticipation. He wants it to sprout the fruit that is both loved and banned in Malaysia. It tastes like taffy, Lewis notes, but some say it smells like gym socks.
"If you hold your breath, you're fine," Lewis said. "You can go to hotels and office buildings in Singapore, and they'll have a sign on the door with a picture of a durian and a cross through it – no durians permitted in this building."
In a garden outside the conservatory building, a tree bears yellow, bumpy fruit, some the size of basketballs. Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, and Lewis and his team are trying to grow it smaller to make it less cumbersome and more marketable to grocery store shoppers. The fruit tastes sweet, he says, like honey.
Out on the grounds – and around Miami – the sausage tree (Kigelia africana) has fruited. The fruit is eaten by baboons and other animals, but it is too seedy and fibrous for humans. In the wild, bats nuzzle their heads in the night-blooming flowers and carry pollen to others.
The Victoria lilies, which can grow more than three yards in diameter, look like floating dinner trays in a Fairchild pond. They were all the rage in Victorian England.
"The flower emerges white, then it closes, then it reopens red," Lewis said. "In the process, it traps beetles inside, which pick up the pollen. It releases them, and they go on to the next flower."
Lewis has the enviable job of traveling the world, like Fairchild once did, looking for new plants to bring back to study and try to grow. One he would love to have is the Rafflesia arnoldii, the largest flower in the world.
He sits at his computer at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami and admires the plant, which lives its entire life underground – until a red and yellow flower several feet in diameter emerges rather quickly. A botanical garden in Indonesia has successfully grown one. "But there's still lot of work in Indonesia to figure out exactly how to do it," Lewis said.
Nearby, Fairchild's horticultural gurus will grow millions of orchids by germinating the tiny seeds in a lab. Lewis wants to put the orchids in trees throughout the Miami area to recreate what South Florida looked like 200 years ago.
Visitors can watch the work through windows and ask the experts questions through microphones several times a day. They'll be able to do the same at the butterfly nursery (opening in December), where workers will raise thousands of the colorful flutterers for the screen-enclosed garden.
"We're having so much fun at this place," Lewis said. "Every time I walk out in the garden, I see something that I hadn't seen before. A plant that hadn't bloomed, that's now blooming. It's just great."
If You Go
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road in Coral Gables.
For more information, call 305-667-1651 or visit fairchildgarden.org.
Read about the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables, a tropical paradise of a different variety.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Description
- 3 Distribution
- 4 Cultivation
- 5 Blooming
- 5.1 Odor
- 6 Videos
- 6.1 Live-feed video
- 6.2 Time-lapse videos
- 7 Gallery
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 External links
Amorphophallus titanum derives its name from Ancient Greek ( άμορφος – amorphos, "without form, misshapen" + φαλλός – phallos, "phallus", and titan, "giant"). The popular name "titan arum" was coined by W.H. Hodge. 
The titan arum's inflorescence can reach over 3 metres (10 ft) in height. Like the related cuckoo pint and calla lily, it consists of a fragrant spadix of flowers wrapped by a spathe, which looks like a large petal. In the case of the titan arum, the spathe is a deep green on the outside and dark burgundy red on the inside, with a deeply furrowed texture. The spadix is hollow and resembles a large baguette. Near the bottom of the spadix, hidden from view inside the sheath of the spathe, the spadix bears two rings of small flowers. The upper ring bears the male flowers, the lower ring is spangled with bright red-orange carpels. The "fragrance" of the titan arum resembles rotting meat, attracting carrion-eating beetles and flesh flies (family Sarcophagidae) that pollinate it. The inflorescence's deep red color and texture contribute to the illusion that the spathe is a piece of meat. During bloom, the tip of the spadix is approximately human body temperature, which helps the perfume volatilize this heat is also believed to assist in the illusion that attracts carcass-eating insects.
Both male and female flowers grow in the same inflorescence. The female flowers open first, then a day or two following, the male flowers open. This usually prevents the flower from self-pollinating.
After the flower dies back, a single leaf, which reaches the size of a small tree, grows from the underground corm. The leaf grows on a somewhat green stalk that branches into three sections at the top, each containing many leaflets. The leaf structure can reach up to 6 m (20 ft) tall and 5 m (16 ft) across. Each year, the old leaf dies and a new one grows in its place. When the corm has stored enough energy, it becomes dormant for about four months. Then the process repeats.
The corm is the largest known, typically weighing around 50 kg (110 lb).  When a specimen at the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Kew Gardens, was repotted after its dormant period, the weight was recorded as 91 kg (201 lb).  In 2006, a corm in the Botanical Garden of Bonn, Germany was recorded at 117 kg (258 lb),  and an A. titanum grown in Gilford, New Hampshire by Dr. Louis Ricciardiello in 2010 weighed 138 kg (305 lb).   However, the current record is held by a corm grown at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, weighing 153.9 kg (339 lb) after 7 years' growth from an initial corm the size of an orange. 
Amorphophallus titanum is native solely to western Sumatra,  where it grows in openings in rainforests on limestone hills.  However, the plant is cultivated by botanical gardens and private collectors around the world. 
The titan arum grows in the wild only in the equatorial rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. It was first scientifically described in 1878 by Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari. The plant flowers only infrequently in the wild. It first flowered in cultivation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, UK in 1889, with over one hundred cultivated blossoms since then. The first documented flowerings in the United States were at the New York Botanical Garden in 1937 and 1939. This flowering also inspired the designation of the titan arum as the official flower of the Bronx in 1939, only to be replaced in 2000 by the day lily. The number of cultivated plants has increased in recent years, and it is not uncommon for there to be five or more flowering events in gardens around the world in a single year. Advanced pollination techniques mean that this plant is rarely cultivated by amateur gardeners. However, in 2011, Roseville High School (Roseville, California) became the first high school in the world to bring a titan arum to bloom. 
In 2003, the tallest bloom in cultivation, some 2.74 m (9 ft 0 in) high, was achieved at the Botanical Garden of the University of Bonn in Germany. The event was acknowledged by Guinness World Records.  In 2005 this record was broken at the botanical and zoological garden Wilhelma in Stuttgart, Germany the bloom reached a height of 2.94 m (9 ft 8 in). The record was broken again by Louis Ricciardiello, whose specimen measured 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in) tall in 2010, when it was on display at Winnipesaukee Orchids in Gilford, New Hampshire, US. This event, too, was acknowledged by Guinness World Records.  
In cultivation, the titan arum generally requires 7 to 10 years of vegetative growth before blooming for the first time. After its initial blooming, there can be considerable variation in blooming frequency. Some plants may not bloom again for another 7 to 10 years while others may bloom every two to three years. A plant has been flowering every second year (2014,16, 18 and 2020) in the Botanical Garden in Copenhagen.  There have also been documented cases of back-to-back blooms occurring within a year  and corms simultaneously sending up both a leaf (or two) and an inflorescence.  There has also been an occasion when a corm produced multiple simultaneous blooms. 
The spathe generally begins to open between mid-afternoon  and late evening and remains open all night. At this time, the female flowers are receptive to pollination. Although most spathes begin to wilt within twelve hours, some have been known to remain open for 24 to 48 hours. As the spathe wilts, the female flowers lose receptivity to pollination.
Self-pollination was once considered impossible, but in 1999, Huntington Botanical Garden botanists hand-pollinated their plant with its own pollen from ground-up male flowers. The procedure was successful, resulting in fruit and ten fertile seeds from which several seedlings were eventually produced.  Additionally, a titan arum at Gustavus Adolphus College, in Minnesota, unexpectedly produced viable seed through self-pollination in 2011. 
As the spathe gradually opens, the spadix releases powerful odors to attract pollinators, insects which feed on dead animals or lay their eggs in rotting meat. The potency of the odor gradually increases from late evening until the middle of the night, when carrion beetles and flesh flies are active as pollinators, then tapers off towards morning.  Analyses of chemicals released by the spadix show the stench includes dimethyl trisulfide (like limburger cheese), dimethyl disulfide (garlic), trimethylamine (rotting fish), isovaleric acid (sweaty socks), benzyl alcohol (sweet floral scent), phenol (like Chloraseptic), and indole (like feces).  
Live-feed video Edit
- Rosie, began blooming Monday, April 23, 2018 at the Tucson Botanical Gardens in Tucson, AZ 
- Octavia, the eighth corpse flower to bloom in five years at the Missouri Botanical Garden, began blooming on July 9, 2017. 
- Kansas State University Gardens began blooming Tuesday June 27, 2017 in Manhattan, KS
- Little Dougie, bloom started Wednesday May 28, 2017 at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA 
- Audrey, began blooming Monday June 26, 2017 at California Carnivores in Sebastopol, CA 
- Terra, began blooming Thursday, June 15, 2017 at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco. 
- Java and Sumatra, began blooming Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL. 
- Wee Stinky, titan arum bloom, began blooming Friday, October 14, 2016 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. 
- Lupin, titan arum bloom, began blooming Thursday, September 22, 2016 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. 
- Pepe le Pew, blooming June 13, 2018 at Mitchell Park Domes, Milwaukee, WI 
- Putricia, blooming July 12, 2018 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI 
- Morticia – blooming Oct 19, 2018 at Amazon Spheres Seattle, WA https://www.twitch.tv/AmazonHorticulture
- Bellatrix – blooming June 3, 2019 at Amazon Spheres Seattle, WA https://www.amazon.com/b/?node=16517931011&channel=fdb908f9-30a0-4654-8c7d-47bc3e32d051
- Octavia – July 2019, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. https://livestream.com/accounts/20357806/events/8730969
- Titan VanCoug – July 2019, WSU Vancouver, Vancouver, Washington, USA. Blooming July 15th. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNtuYsQx7BY
- Cleveland Metroparks Zoo - August 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHr2q7vdg8k
- Cal Poly - July 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlY8_TQrX7Y
- Sprout - Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania - July 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bECLKQLuyGI
- Terra the Titan, Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco - August 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh_mfWhIlig
Time-lapse videos Edit
- Titan arum bloom, July 2007 Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, name Cronus by Zoo Horticulture staff. The bloomed occurred early morning Monday, July 23, 2007, the elapsed time is about 48 hours from July 22, 2007. 
- Perry T. Titan, Gustavus Adolphus College, September 24 to November 7, 2013, from the corm until the spadix collapses 45 days later. 
- Ohio State University May 2012. 
- First flowering of 'Aaron' on 9–10 July 2015 at the Botanical Garden of Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. 
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 
- Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, South Australia, bloomed December 29, 2015. 
- Adelaide Botanic Gardens, South Australia, bloomed February 1, 2016  and again on 3 January 2017. 
- College of Biological Sciences Conservatory, University of Minnesota, name Chauncey, bloomed in February 2016. 
- Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Ithaca, NY, bloomed 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016. 
- Indiana University Bloomington, Wally, at the Jordan Greenhouse in Indiana University, bloomed July 2016. 
- Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Putricia, at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI, bloomed July 2018. 
- Northwestern State University, Louisiana, June 19 to June 28, 2020 
- Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, July 13 to July 15, 2020 
Plant finishing blooming, showing the male and female flowers at the base of the spadix
First of two plants, Kew Gardens, London, May 1, 2009
Second of two plants, Kew Gardens, London, May 1, 2009
"Morticia", Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, June 20, 2012
Titan Arum, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, December 27, 2012
"Morty", Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, Buffalo, NY, USA, August 8, 2014