For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cobra Lily (Amorphophallus sp)

I came across a completly unknown species of lily and took some pictures of it. Trying to find out what it was, I found this interesting information......

Amorphophallus sp.

Family: Araceae

Also known as: Voodoo lily, Devils tongue, Snake Palm, Corpse flower

Origin: Himalaya, India, Burma

Amorphophallus species are herbs with an underground storage organ. This is usually a tuber. One single leaf emerges from the tuber, consisting of a vertical petiole (stalk) and a horizontal leaf-blade. The latter is dissected into few or numerous small leaflets. Once plants are mature an inflorescence may develop. The inflorescence may replace the leaf in one season, or develop alongside it. From winter dormant tubers emerge an umbrella like plant with beautiful speckled stems.
Large flowers will emerge from mature plants in the spring. When the spathe opens the female flowers are receptive and must be pollinated that same day. The opening inflorescence emits an attractant scent. In Amorphophallus this scent has diversified considerably. In most species the scent is anything but pleasant, and reminds one of varieties of death, decay, sewage, gas and the like.
A few species develop a scent that is actually pleasant to the human nose (e.g. carrot-like, anise, chocolate, fruity, lemon). After successful pollination most parts of the spathe wither and drop off, after which the individual female flowers develop into berries, containing the seeds. These berries are usually red or orange-red, but occasionally blue, white, or yellow-and- white.
Amorphophallus thrives in a rich loamy soil in partial shade. Compost should consist of 2 parts loam to 1 part peat moss to 1 part sand. Keep the plant evenly moist all through the growing season. Keep dry during dormancy, keep moist during growing period. Fertilize monthly with a houseplant fertilizer. Water should be gradually withheld starting in October until the leaf withers. Store corms at a temperature above 50 degrees. They can be brought into active growth in late March. If the corms are strong enough, a blossom will soon be produced.
The leaf follows soon afterwards. A. bulbifer definitely dislikes low humidity - the leaflets may partially desiccate; this seems to be more pronounced in low light. Also, in low light, the leafes become exceptionally dark green, with nicely contrasting pink margins. Such plants have to be moved to brighter light very gradually. In bright light, the leaves are bright green, with pinkish margins less pronounced. Other species: konjac, titanum, and much more...
This information was obtained from:

http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/AMORPHOPHALLUS_SP.htm

Please have a look at their site to see some more very unusual flowers of this species.