Saturday, May 12, 2007

OH BOY!! Perry is Opening!!!

Perry is opening up today!!!! Yay! You have to admit that is one good looking plant! The fine folks on the website say:

"It has been stated by an alarmingly large number of people that parts of Perry’s spathe look like lettuce. We have therefore decided to prohibit visitors from bringing bread, mayonnaise, or salad spinners into the Perry Room. Rabbits are also Lepus non grata."

Check out Perry and his live feed at the Gustavus site. Did you know that Perry is 14 years old this year? It's worth the time to see one of the world's most unusual plants. Scroll down for Perry and the two others that are also opening almost simultaneously.

Violets of a Different Color

Well, this IS about violets.... but these are all violets of the Viola sort of one genus or another. The all white one is most likely Viola canadensis, the speckled one is Viola sororia "Freckles", the regualr blue violets that grow all over everyone's yard are probably Viola papilionacea which are native and quite variable in color.

All five of these have been spring visitors in my yard for over twenty years! I must be in the minority but I love the wild violets, they make great ground cover under the rather dense trees in the back yard, and if you don't mind them in the lawn... they are easy to mow and stay green all season. I'm looking for a yellow variety, and hopefully I'll get a hold of one this year. Does anyone else have any of the other Minnesota natives or other color forms of the violets? Bird's Foot violets are especially cool in the foliage department! Send in a photo!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Perry's Taller

Perry is even taller! Did you know that the plant heats up its internal temperature? Why, you ask??? The web site nicely explains what's going on.
In the dense jungles of Sumatra a small inflorescence that relies on aroma to attract pollinators would have a difficult time spreading that aroma and attracting pollinators. The bigger the inflorescence the more successful it will be in spreading the aroma and thereby attracting pollinators. A brilliant strategy for a stationary plant! Even better is that the plant actually uses energy reserves to warm itself up to temperatures comparable to human body temperature. The warmth allows the compounds in the odor to volatilize more easily. So in other words, the warmer the titan arum gets, the stinkier it gets. (Think about the aroma of fresh baked bread. It is especially fragrant when it is hot out of the oven.)

It can get to be 100 degrees F. Now that's a "cool" plant! Keep watching Perry as he unfolds.... Perry's web cam!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Perry's brother Ted

The University of California Davis' College of Biological Sciences has another "corpse flower" in bloom right now! Meet Ted. Ted is at the peak of bloom now. The link to see Ted and learn more about these flowers is also on the link in the past post that comes from Gustavus. Simply scroll down from the photo of Perry (it's the second selection down) and you'll get more information and links to other rare flowers like Ted.

Perry the Titan flower at Gustavus.

Meet Perry!!!

Ok, this is too good to be true for the real plant lover. Check this out from Gustavus College! Meet Perry!
This is in real-time and over 9 feet tall already.... there is more to go! (Or, should I say "grow"??)

Note the guy standing there is a regular size gentleman. This is one "good sized" plant! The blooms of it smell like road kill and attract all sorts of interesting pollinators. The plants come from Sumatra and are considered endangered.

Let's have some comments and participation with the blog! It's only fun if everyone joins in the action!!! Do you have any plant related materials to give us a link to? It doesn't have to be strictly about gesneriads.... some of these things are just more fun than can be contained in an ordinary posting! Plants that knock out the glass of your green house roof are meant to be shared!