Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Ahhh, The Sweet Smell of Spring!
This is the our harbinger of spring! When the voodoos are out you can soon find robins and spring peepers. (I made that up)
This is the handsome maroon of the bloom.
Here we have a look into it's secret nougat center. I'm still wondering if the whole thing is heating itself up like the Titan Arums do when they start to have their fragrance.
The Milwaukee Public Museum says this about the Titan Arum (which is a close cousin, I'm thinking that my voodoo is doing about the same things for the same reasons.) The Milwaukee Public Museum: "Flower odor is strongest the first night after opening. Sulfur compounds, similar to those responsible for the smell of rotten eggs, give the flower its putrid odor. The smell (similar to rotting fish according to some) comes in waves and attracts carrion beetles and sweat bees in its native habitat. Since flowers are few and far between in the wild, the plant needs to disperse its odor to attract pollinators. It is able to do this by generating heat, up to about 10 °F above the surrounding air, which volatilizes the chemicals. The spathe closes after this first period trapping the pollinators within. When it opens the next day, the male flowers are shedding their pollen and the insects must crawl over the flowers picking up pollen on their way out. If fertilization occurs, numerous fruit the size of olives will develop over the next 6 months, turning bright red when ripe."
This is how it's gotta be for the next couple of days around here. Whew.....
Click on the photos to make them larger.