It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Magnet for The Masses

Ikumi Kayama, our current Artist-in-residence measuring and sketching the corpse flower this morning

Denver Botanic Gardens is expecting its first ever corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) to bloom in five days on August 16th
The first botanist to encounter Amorphophallus titanum, the corpse flower, was the Italian Odoardo Beccari, whose Malaysian and Palm herbaria are included in the botanical collections of Museum of Natural History in Florence, Italy (we had the pleasure to visit these collections in connection to our 2015 Arts and Archives tour earlier this year).While travelling in tropical southeast Asia in 1878 Beccari sent seeds back to Florence in Italy and Kew Gradens in England. Eleven years later one of the plants that had germinated from these seeds flowered in Kew. 

The titan arum produces the world’s largest compound flower (up to 3.5 meters tall). As with all members of the Arum family the inflorescence consists of a petal-like spathe and a flower-bearing spandix; the whole structure is borne on a stalk only 25 – 35 cm high. 

You can read more about this flower that emits a rotten odor by clicking here
The current, daily updated Atitanum's growth chart from Denver Botanic Gardens is located here.
Amorphophallus titanum flowered first time in cultivation at Kew Gardens in 1889 and was described and illustrated in the Curtis's Botanical Magazine volume of 1891. The plates were drawn by Matilda Smith.

On the right Ikumi's sketch from August 11th (please click to enlarge)

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