Saturday, July 11, 2009

Growing Amorphophallus bulbifer in the Pacific Northwest - Outdoors

Amorphophallus bulbifer - Grouping 1Amorphophallus bulbifer - Grouping 2
We’ve had Amorphophallus bulbifer growing outside for 6+ years now in Seattle. The location is south-facing but with not that much sun due to the neighboring house blocking much of it. We have them arranged in two different 'patches' that roughly experience the same conditions. The plants grow slightly under a house overhang of about 2 feet. The ground is just regular old dirt and the top is covered with hazelnut shells. We water and apply fertilizer during growing season and then don’t do anything off season. We leave the bulbs in ground all year. They keep spreading too - each year more plants show up – due to the bulbils that grow at various node points on the one leaf. We’ve never seen the bulbifer bloom.

In one of the photos above there is a plant with a leaf looks like a pinwheel with 10 arms. We don’t know for sure what that is, but our guess is a voodoo lily (Sauromatum venosum). It blooms in late April and then a leaf comes up. The matured inflorescence is pictured below, bent over and hanging close to the ground. Would love to know what it is for sure.
Mystery Inflorescence - Perhaps Voodoo Lily

Update 06/22/2010
A reader (see comments) pointed out that the mystery plant with the pinwheel leave is probably Arisaema consanguineum. I have picture of this year's bloom below and I think that Arisaema is correct. Thanks!
Bloom 2010

2 comments:

  1. I'm guessing the pinwheel leaved plant is arisaema consanguineum. I'd love to try Konjac out here in Woodinville, if you can spare some starts. Regards jim.eichner@comcast.net

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  2. Now that I look at at (and I posted a close up of the flower from this year), you are right arisaema consanguineum looks to be it. Thanks for the correction.

    I'm happy to give you some starts as soon as I see them. So far I haven't seen anything poking up from the ground. Every year they do this - start late and get me worried.

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