Well, glad to be back, I just couldn't find the time to write a post while I was working on a project. I'm eager to catch up.
A few weeks ago one of the Corpse Flowers, Amorphophallus titanum was blooming at UC Berkeley Botanic Garden. I just happened to have a couple of spare hours the day it was in full bloom so I thought I'd go check it out. While the flower is open for a day or two, it emits an aroma that is compared to the smell of rotting flesh, wafting out in waves and drifting far. The Corpse flower's blooms can reach 10' tall and unbelievably the plant wasn't even discovered by Western botanists until 1878 (how did they miss it?). Hailing from Sumatra, these giant arums must be grown in tropical greenhouses around here.
Before the flower opened, the Bot garden had a naming contest for this bloom and the winning suggestion was Maladora. (Why didn't I think of that!?) Anyway, Maladora was a real beaut. The lovely ruffly cape of velvety red opens to expose the rotten egg-stinky upright spadix. And the odor was quite powerful. It reminded me of a dead body with sugar on top. After being in the greenhouse with Maladora for 10 minutes or so I came out feeling quite nauseous. I feel sorry for the volunteer docents that are in there for long periods answering questions.
After checking out Maladora I headed out to investigate a few more freakish plants in the Arid House. Sorry for the lack of names. I was too busy enjoying the crazy shapes and textures to memorize names.
I get up to the Bot garden so infrequently, it was nice to wander around and check out what was happening.
Here's a few views around the garden:
I love this grass! It looks like a white water river flowing down the hill.