The beauty of the colours! The scent! The visual lift they give to an otherwise sea of greenery in the garden. I include myself in this category too. I love flowers!
Not everyone loves this flower though! If ever there was a group of plants that are 'love them or hate them', then Amorphophallus is it.
|Emerging Amorphophallus bulbifer flower spike|
|Amorphophallus bulbifer almost open|
|Amorphophallus bulbifer finally opens!|
The colour is pink, in a fleshy kind of way. The 'perfume' is highly scented (if you like old bins full of rotting food waste) and the appearance is, well, repulsive. And yet I still love it! Weird and wonderful, bizarre and yet fascinating at the same time, this flower is typical of the Aroid family, and is what draws me to this group of plants. To call it a flower is of course not strictly correct. The correct terminology is 'spathe', and the flowers are located deep down inside the spathe tube towards the bottom of the spadix.
Some weeks ago, the tightly wrapped spathe had emerged from the soil and had sat there, waiting to open. It seems that the current warm spell has coaxed it out. If the flowers are not fertilised, it will wither and be replaced by a single, striking leaf. On the other hand, if pollination has occured (unlikely, as only one of my bulbs is in flower at the moment) it will produce a cluster of berries that will slowly ripen throughout the summer.
|Mottled stem detail of Amorphophallus bulbifer|