Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum)
The titan arum produces one of the world’s largest unbranched inflorescence, growing up over 3 m (10 ft) in height. An inflorescence is a cluster of smaller flowers arranged together, giving the impression of a single larger flower.
The inflorescence gives off a rotting odour, which attracts insects to the strings of pollen inside the spathe (the petal like structure). As the female flowers mature earlier then the male flowers, the chance of self pollination is reduced.
Etymology: (Amorphos - misshapen + phallos - phallus + titan - giant. Giant misshapen penis )
Scientific Name - Neoregelia ‘Monstrosus’
Common Name - Neoregelia cruenta rubra
Place of Origin - Probably Brazil
Status - Unknown
There’s a lot of confusion involved with the history of this plant. In the past it was wrongly identified as Neoregelia hastchbachii, in Australia it was sometimes called Neoregelia ‘Monstrousa’, and more commonly it’s called Neoregelia cruenta rubra or ‘red form’. In 1998 it was given the cultivar name Neoregelia ‘Monstrosus’, although many people still call it N. cruenta rubra.
Whatever you call it, it’s a nice, easy to grow plant. It will take full sun with ease, resulting in leaves with a bright red color and a more compact growth. In more shade the leaves turn a less attractive red-green color with longer leaves. The silver banding, which appears on both sides of the leaves, stays with the plant no matter what light it’s in, although it shows up better when in full sun. Leaves are stiff with short spines on the edges, but are in no way vicious. They flower in the summer.
I’m not sure how the pups form, but I think they arise on short stolons that are slightly higher than the mother plant.