Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIU Titan #2 Time-Lapse Video

Finally downloaded the pictures from the plant cam to produce this little movie of titan #2. Here are a few highlights to look for; between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on the 13th, you will see the spathe ever so slightly start to open and pull away from the spadix, between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on the 14th, the spathe appears to stop moving and be fully open and then between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. on the 14th, it appears the spathe is starting to close.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

325% Increase In Titans

Okay, that sounds like a pretty exorbitant claim. Today, I removed the offshoots from Titan #1 and potted them. The top picture is a "before" picture taken on 9/12/11. The bottom picture is the "after" picture showing the 13 offshoots. So, this morning we started with 4 containers of titans in the WIU Botany Greenhouse and this afternoon we ended with 17 containers of titans, a 325% increase.

Almost Black

A few pictures to show how dark the spathe is. As always, clicking on a picture will bring up the full size version.


The spathe of Titan #2 is slowly closing back up. You can see the slow closing when comparing the above two pictures. The top picture is from 8 a.m. and the bottom is from 2 p.m. today. Yes, it still is producing an odor, not constant but occasionally and not as strong as it did on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Evening Pictures

A couple of pictures from this evenings opening of Titan #2. It has been taking it's time to open and is still not open fully as of 11:30 p.m. It is producing quite the odor though. It is a much stronger odor than the previous two and has been described as having a cabbage like smell to it. The inside coloration of the spathe is also much darker that the previous WIU Titans. It looks almost like black velvet.


Finally, Titan #2 has decided to open. I expect it to take until 7, 8 or 9 p.m. today to fully open. The greenhouse will be open until midnight for anyone that wants to see this first hand.

WIU Titan Family

In today's picture, you can see all four titans we have in the greenhouse. #1 and #3 bloomed last year (May and June). After blooming, #3 went through the expected routine of dormancy and then growing a leaf, which is now going dormant again. Titan #1 had a little problem after blooming. It initially started to send a leaf bud out but for some reason it aborted it and the bud subsequently died. What #1 is now doing is sending up sprouts from all around the corm. Titan #4 has not produced and inflorescence yet and may be due to the fact that it is a multiple also. This past year there were three leaves in the pot.

Monday, September 12, 2011


It seems the colors of the spadix and spathe are intensifying. Is this another sign that it will open soon?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday 9/11 Update

It is 3 p.m. and Titan #2's spathe has not moved any today. This morning was the first time I could smell the Titan without being right on top of it. It is definitely getting closer to opening, just not today. By this time tomorrow we should know if it will open on Monday or not.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Update

Quick update this morning. For the third day now, the change in height has been at one inch daily. I am still expecting it to open any day now. I will be back in the greenhouse between noon and 3 p.m. today to see if it decides to open today.

It's 3 p.m. and the spathe has not budged at all, so it's not going to open today. Will have to wait until this time tomorrow (Sunday 9/11) to see if it decides to open. As always, you can see what is going on with Titan #2 via the live stream.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Camera Upgrade

Just got done with upgrading the camera for the live streaming video being broadcast on Ustream.  Now have night vision and higher quality video image.

Live Video Feed of WIU Titan #2

UTech pulled it off and has gotten a live streaming video feed of WIU Titan #2 up. Thanks to Jerry, Matt, Mike, Dan, Tim and Katharine at UTech.

Last Bract Falls

As you can see by today's picture, the largest and last bract that was surrounding the inflorescence, has shriveled and collapsed. This is a good indication that the spathe should open within a day or two.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Growth Slowing

We made it through the extended holiday weekend without Titan #2 opening, which is a good thing. As you can see in the growth chart to the right, it has not produced as much growth for the past three days. This coincides with the cooler temperatures we have had but it is also an indicator of the spathe getting closer to opening.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekend Update

Finally, we got some relief from the heat. Yesterday afternoon and evening, a cold front came through and provided about an inch of rain and cooler temps, only 63 this morning. I am hoping the cooler temps will be enough to delay the opening of the spathe until Tuesday. The above pictures, show the largest bract continuing it's decline and also show some insect damage on the spadix. The insect damage is nothing to be alarmed about, it just spoils the aesthetics of the Titan a little.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Getting Closer

As you can see in today's picture, Titan #2 is getting closer to opening. The large green bract on the right side of the bud is starting to shrivel and lose color. If the titan decides to open over the weekend or on Labor Day (I really hope it waits til Tuesday), I will post on here, facebook and twitter as soon as I know. The greenhouse will then be open until midnight or so for any and all to view and smell this event. As with this picture and all others posted in this blog, just click on it to open up the full size version.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Titan Update

Titan #2 upped it's growth rate in past 24 hours. I'm unable to pinpoint an exact date that it will open, but still expect it to happen within 10 days to 2 weeks. When the last bract falls, within a day or two it should open. Bracts are the green leafy like part that surround the inflorescence bud. In the above picture, there are two green bracts readily visible. A brown bract is at the base of the titan bud. Just to let everyone know, we (well mainly UTech) are looking at providing a live video feed for this titan. Because of various factors, I am not optimistic that they can provide it, so everyone will just have to come see it in person!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Above the Bracts

If you notice to the right side of the blog, there is a daily listing of Titan #2's height and subsequent difference in it from the previous day. The spadix finally pushed past the tallest bract Friday night/Saturday morning, so that is why there is such a discrepancy in height differences over the past two or three days.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Face the Camera

Yesterday, I twirled Titan #2 around so all the pretty parts could be seen better. If you click on the picture and have it come up full size, you can just barely see the spadix peeking above the spathe and behind the bracts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Here we go again!

This is WIU Titan #2. As you may recall, we have four Amorphophallus titanum (Titan Arums) in the WIU Botany Greenhouse. Last year, May and June 2010, two of them produced inflorescences. Now, Titan #2 is producing an inflorescence. Yesterday morning it was measured to be 19.5" tall. Going by past experiences and data of previous Titans, I would think Titan #2 will open in two or three weeks.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Voodoo Lily in Bloom

When I got into the greenhouse yesterday, this Voodoo Lilly was in bloom. The greenhouse had received this on May 10, 2010 from fellow WIU employee, Bruce McCormack's mother, who lives in the Quad Cities area. She had said it was an Amorphophallus. I was never really satisfied that it was but once it bloomed, I did more research and determined it to be Typhonium venosum. It has several synonyms including Sauromatum guttatum and Sauromatum venosum. It is found from Tropical Africa to China. It is hardy to -20 C (-4 F). Like the Titan Arum, the Voodoo Lily produces a putrid smell to attract carrion beetles and flesh flies for pollination.


Musa acuminata cv 'Dwarf Cavendish', Dwarf Cavendish Banana

Having banana plants produce fruit in the greenhouse is nothing new but oh so cool anyway, especially when it's zero degrees out with 16 inches of snow.

For a little past banana history at WIU check this out: