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Me and my 13 lb. Konjac in bloom. Taken today...

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Man does she STINK! But the flower is very nice.....

Thumbnail by tommyr2006

Extremely nice growing tommyr! I am envious.

Nashville, TN(Zone 6b)

my konjacs havent started blooming yet but they are spiking now i do have one smaller bulb thats about to open and one Leo song in bloom but my largest have yet to go. I did wake up this morning to have A. koratensis stinkin me out.

Sarasota, FL

When my voodoo's flower; a lot of flies are attracted (outdoors). All the anole lizards come to feast! The cold was so bad this year, a lot of the lizards died.

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Sorry about the lizard die off. Nature knows what she's doing though. The bad smell is designed to attract flys for pollination.

Siloam Springs, AR

You are very right the pheromones attract flies due to the scent. However, observation of pollination ecology of most Amorphophallus indicates all are mostly visited by beetles from a variety of genera followed by flies, bees, ants and some cockroaches. The beetles and bees are the real pollinators for wild Amorphophallus species and they use the nflorescences as mating and egg laying sites.

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

Is that the same as a voo doo lily?

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

Hilarious picture! Keep the doors locked, lest the beetles surprise you in the night. That vision is enough to give me bad dreams.

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Bluegrass, yes they are sometimes called Voodoo lilies. Nothing lily about them! LOL!
The smell is now gone BTW!

Lewisburg, KY(Zone 6a)

Do they grow from a bulb? If so I bought one at the Nashville Lawn and Garden show. I didn't know they could get that large!
Teresa in KY

Siloam Springs, AR

Although the terms bulb, corm and tuber are used interchangeably by growers, aroids only grow from a tuber.

I have tried to make this as non-technical as possible but it is pretty tough to condense the science to layman's terms. Probably best just to accept the fact aroids with an underground stem grow from a tuber since they are technically different.

A bulb is an underground stem that has a basal plate (look at the bottom of a fresh onion) and fleshy storage leaves surrounding a bud that forms the next plant. A good example of a bulb is an onion. Cut it open and you'll see the layers with the papery skin in between. All bulbs have layers.

A corm is also an underground stem to which the above-ground parts of the plant may die back when dormant, but not always. It often stores starch with the roots growing from the base. Corm examples are Crocus, Cyclamen, Musa (banana) and Gladiolus.

A tuber is an underground structure that is almost entirely a starch storage organ. The buds for future growth and the roots all develop at the “top” In Amorphophallus, Arum and Typhonium the stem tissue is all encased in the small bud at the top of the tuber full of stored food.. That bud grows upward into a leaf or two, and outward into roots. Potatoes are tubers.

All three are underground stems that store starch but they are technically very different. When you cut open a potato you just cut open a tuber.

Since some may confuse a stem with a petiole, the petiole is the stalk that supports of an individual leaf while the stem is the central axis or main support of the plant. Petioles grow from nodes on the stem.

All of this was recently discussed in a note from scientist Christopher Rogers titled Tubers, corms and bulbs, oh my! on the International Aroid Society discussion group Aroid l.

Dr. Tom Croat and several other aroid botanists concurred even though there is some relationship between the tuber of an Amorphophallus and a corm. Technically, it is still a least to a scientist or a grower that likes to use the correct term.

I'm sure growers aren't going to stop calling a tuber by either of the other names, but there is a difference and aroids only produce tubers.

If you go to the International Aroid Society website and use the search engine you can find the entire discussion:

This message was edited Apr 7, 2010 10:20 AM

Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

Yay. Great information. I've never exactly been sure what a 'basal plate' looks like.

Thanks, ExoticRainforest!

Siloam Springs, AR

Take a look at this link for a good drawing of an onion (a bulb) which shows the basal plate and the bud. The definition they use is really pretty good but still understandable while other sources require you to have a botany dictionary in your lap.

My only problem with the piece is it starts out to explain why the forms are different but then calls all three a "bulb" part way through. I'm sure they did that to try to keep it simple but a corm and tuber don't scientifically qualify as a bulb for the same reasons they explain.

By the way, if you'd like a good botany dictionary that is very affordable order the Oxford Dictionary of Plant Science from It is fairly inexpensive but contains a lot of good material. Amazon often has used copies for sale.


Woodinville, WA(Zone 8b)

Yes, I'm very literal (have to be when I'm learning something new), so it's hard for me to learn when resources don't use terms precisely 100% of the time.

I would like a good botany dictionary; I'll check it out. Thanks again.

Tucson, AZ

very nice tommy! that's a beauty and a stinker. : )

thanks for the explanation exoticrainforest.

i would like to start growing the konjak again. can anyone point me to a good source for purchase. i don't have any tubers for trade though.

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Ebay and

Tucson, AZ

hi tommy - they don't seem to have any auctions right now but i will send them an email. thanks so much!

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

There are several Konjacs for sale on ebay right now. Search for amorphophallus Konjac. Boberosa sells them for for $6 per pound. Email them to see what sizes are available.

Tucson, AZ

it's odd but the only one that i see selling them on ebay right now is adstakst1. i might be in some weird mode on ebay...

i contacted boberosa via email to see what they have available.

Louisville, KY

My mom bought one in March and she grows in her basement and the dirn thing is up to her ceiling!!!

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

LOL! Yup, they are fast growers once they get going!

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

tommyr..hows that big one doing this yr?? hope even bigger !!!
hows weather out there in NY??
you having the same HOT,dry weather all over.. sigh :(
ive seen some pics of konjac that were guessing from pic maybe 7+ft tall.. the
vegetative growth..
does anyone know how big konjac can get?? how big have u all grown them??
i saw some really big corms for sale on ebay this last was..i think.. 30+ lbs..
thats big.. wish i had continued bidding on it..but i was a total newbie..and didnt want to
get into a plant $$ that i would eventually kill..
now i feel alot more comfortable..and able..
my amorphs are doing great.. nice vegetative growth..even with our extreme hot/dry
we are getting rain now..yea !!!

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Hi tropicalnut777,
That corm has shrunk to around 8 inches when I dug it up last fall. Not sure how tall Konjacs can get, that big one's leaf got about 5 feet. She's doing great this year, here she is with 2 4 inch corm Konjacs:

Thumbnail by tommyr2006
Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

super pics tommy!!! :)
im anxious to see how big... or small the corms i have in leaf now..
its bad for me..i always opened all my xmas prezzies before..then rewrapped them..
lets hope for a good long summer so our corms can reenergize for next yr!!!

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Pic of the 3 big ones taken today:

Thumbnail by tommyr2006
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Supper job Tommy, I've a couple. Love these plants, but not the ordor. lol. Though, I've seen one in flower but once. Got quite a few offsprings from the orginal plant that I bought in 2006.

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Here you go Lily! Me and a stinker! A few years ago!

Thumbnail by tommyr2006
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

*Laughing so hard, that's a hoot!. Luckily the odor doesn't last very long. Do you remember how long the flower lasted?

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

great pics again tommy !!
make sure and post/show pic of size of those big ones ..:)
im anxious on mine too..
?? what are u using for fertilizer on yours?

Tucson, AZ

they are looking good Tommy! i have a question for y'all. this here is my 3-pounder. any idea why it does not flatten out at the top. i do not know the technical term (if any) for the part of the petiole from which the leaflets emerge. it does not get much of any direct sunlight here in the desert drywest.

Thumbnail by tucsonplumeriaz
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Mr. D. I'm glad you've brought up the question. I've a hunt in regard to your question -- maybe. What I've observed was; when I planted the plant in partial sun in my woodland garden. The leaflets will spread out like a full open umbrela like that of Tommy's. But when I moved mine to a container culture, and expose it to full sun. Mine look just like yours. But not quite as big and luxuriously looking!!! Wow, what a great job have you raised that babe!

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

The flower lasts about a week (give or take a day or two), luckily the smell doesn't!

My Konjacs get morning Sun then bright shade the rest of the day. Try that for the leaf spreading.

Any good fertilizer will do. Right now I'm using Jack's (formally Peter's) 20-20-20 every week.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Hah, I've nailed the possible culprit of the None spreading leaflets in which they are formed from the petiole? Maybe? Tommy's response that

My Konjacs get morning sun then bright shade the rest of the day.
THAT correllates the exact condition I had mine when I first discovered Konjacs 6 years ago. Subsequently I decided to keep my Konjacs in container culture so I can keep them away from munching critters in the garden. Thanks Tommy for sharing your experience with me/others who happen to find Konjacs fascinating dispite the odor they emit. -;))

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

thats a super question tuscon.. the 4 i have in raised bed in one garden started that way too
they get full blast sun..all day..not sure im going to do it again next yr..all that sun..even though
the plants dont seem to be suffering..not sure on the corm though till late this fall when i dig them..
my foliage canopy was more upright too..they have flattened though..
? are yours staying more folded upright?
and to point potted ones that i have in mid day semi shade never opened up that way..
so i think u all's point on this is valid..
i wondered the same glad you asked it tuscon!! :)
thanks tommy on what youre using for fertilizer.. im using a commercial 20:20:20 with minor elements
and plan to go to a 14:30:10 with minor elements mid august..
i understand that the corm will need more P to get boosted up..

Tucson, AZ

hi, ms. lily. i must confess! i purchased this 3-lb tuber months ago. i wanted to see what it is like to play with the big boys. haha! it will be interesting to see what size it is springtime next year. i still have not mastered overwinting them. that is where i usually go wrong. this year i am going to leave them in soil in the garage. i hope that helps! yours is looking nice and healthy, too.

thanks for the comment tommy. it appears to be the lack of direct sunlight. it gets a some of that *it's to early to be awake* sun and a smidgen of the setting sun. other than that, i'd call it medium shade. i am looking to build them a home under a fabric tent next year. the plan is the give them bright shade all day and be able to spray down the fabric to provide some humidity and cooling. thanks, again!

these plants sure are fun! i just have to make special arrangements in the desert for them.

Tucson, AZ

hi, tropicalnut. tropicals in UT?! good onya! my canopies seem are about 45º to the vertical. i guess that is just how they grow here in containers. they were even started in different light conditions and are all the same now.

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

good ideas on fabric tent..dont know if u get strong winds..just secure well.
i know guy in australia that protects his many amorphs ..but ran into trouble with falling
structure on his amorphs..:(
its all finding what works..and adapting to nature..:)
my experiment this yr was..if i get bigger corms from growing directly in soil over potted up..
wont find out till this fall.. lol and i dont think 1 yr will prove anything.. :)
might have to try again next yr too..
theres been posted on other threads in aroid forum.. studies suggesting semi shade,not direct
light produces bigger corms.. from my reading on these.. there are several factors too..
soil.. light..of course.. fertilization, potting up,in raised beds, competition from weeds/or other plants..
as for grateful for all these posts/suggestions..
gardening is an adventure..and experiment.. and FUN

Tucson, AZ

thanks for the tip. the monsoon storms can be vicious! a row of snapped power lines from sunday storm.

experimenting is good. i know that initially the vegetative growth was frying and dying too early because of the heat, dry conditions and sun exposure. i tuned on to less direct sun exposure last year.

i would think in ground would be better because of more consistent root temps. i know that plumeria do much better planted in the ground even if it is planted in a container that is plunged in the ground. i can get 120º for soil temps with summertime heat and direct sun here in tucson.

all the best in your gardening endeavors!

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

wow..thats hot soil !!! my brother lives in scotsdale..he likes it..but whew.. that summer
my brother has misters/foggers around his patio.. to cool things off..and raise the humidity
have you tried these in your gardening area? i dont know what your set up may have a huge
area of gardens..
in my raised bed area where i planted konjac's in the soil (very well ammended soil)
i lined the whole perimeter with 3 gal water containers.. filled with water.. more for start of the gardening keep the soil warm at nite.. i dont have to worry about that now of course..
im anxious to see if theres any difference in potted/over planted right in garden..
good luck to you too tucson !!! try to stay cool..

Tucson, AZ

i have tried the misters. it creates a mess because of the hard water that we have here. that was even with an inline filter. i guess i should have used two! my next idea is to wet the fabric tent to generate humidity and cool air.

please keep us posted on your experiment. i should try plunging a pot in the ground.

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