Clear Mountain Garden Treasures
 

Clear Mountain Garden TreasuresVoodoo Lily

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tuber
A swollen underground stem, crown or root
see also Bulbs, Corms and Tubers.
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inflorescence
A flowering shoot with more than one flower.
Inflorescences may be branched or unbranched.
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spadix
The (often fleshy) spike inflorescence of aroids
that carry the flowers
see also Aroids.
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spathe
The bract that grows from a aroid's spadix.
Spathes are often modified to act as petals,
trumpts and elaborate traps
see also Aroids.
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tuber
A swollen underground stem, crown or root
see also Bulbs, Corms and Tubers.
Hide
inflorescence
A flowering shoot with more than one flower.
Inflorescences may be branched or unbranched.
Hide
spadix
The (often fleshy) spike inflorescence of aroids
that carry the flowers
see also Aroids.
Hide
spathe
The bract that grows from a aroid's spadix.
Spathes are often modified to act as petals,
trumpts and elaborate traps
see also Aroids.
Hide
Voodoo Lily
Family Araceae
Name Typhonium venosum
Common Name Voodoo Lily

  See also:  Bulbs, Corms & Tubers, Culture / Germination

This aroid originates from Central Africa, Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Sub-continent through to Indo-China and China. There are a number of synonyms, the most common being, Sauromatum venosum. It is grown for its very large decorative leaves that grows from a very large tuber. The tuber frequently produces small offsets. These can be detached and potted up as small plants. Often the offset tubers will self-detach, growing into a thick clump of plants. The leaves die back in the autumn.

The one metre tall inflorescence appear from the bare tubers and only lasts a few days. They are pollinated from carrion eating beetles and flies, and thus smell of rotting flesh. The smell originates from the top part of the spadix, which is several degrees warmer than ambient to release the scent. The spathe has reddy brown spots and look superficially like rotting flesh.

The bottom part of the spathe completely covers the flowers, and forms a narrow neck. On the first day that it is open, the female flowers are receptive. Insects are attracted to the smell and soon crawl in, pollinating the female flowers. They are then trapped inside the structure formed by the spathe and kept overnight. The next day, the female flowers are no longer receptive and the structures that trap the insects have shrivelled up. The insects are free to leave but on the way up, they brush against the male flowers, that by this stage has shed pollen. The insects pick up this pollen and fly to another flower to pollinate it.



Flower

Spathe and Spadix

Detail of Spathe

Flower cut-out

Flower cut out showing the receptive female flowers (below) and the make flowers (above) that have yet to shed pollen.

Plant

Leaf Stalk

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