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Plantgasm - I love plants too much. By Derek Powazek.

First Titan Leaf

Back in November, I planted Titan Arum seeds (aka Amorphophallus titanum, aka “the botanical rockstar”). In December, the first one spiked. Now it’s about a foot tall and is unfurling its first leaf.


Shortly after I took this photo, I transplanted the young seedling into a slightly larger pot. It still lives in a plastic bag, under lights, on a heating mat, but it’s about to outgrow all three. Short of moving to moving to Sumatra or smuggling it into the Conservatory of Flowers, I’m not sure what I’ll do next.

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3 Responses

Whoa!!Derek!! You have unleashed the “Monster” and you are on your way!!! Just like ‘Robert’ you know what these babies need to thrive!! I am so excited for you!!! And I am so thrilled that you are posting all the progress for us to enjoy!! Thanks & Happy New Year!

Posted by Roberta on 3 January 2012 @ 8pm

Lovely. I used to have a 1 metre cube of horticultural plastic film draped over a frame made from an assortment of plastic rods and mop handles. Heating mat inside and all my damp tropicals were so happy. The Boesenbergia pandurata took all the height very quickly and I had to extend it upwards by another 25cm with more mop handles. The plant even flowered.

I miss that shoddy construction.

Posted by Pat on 4 January 2012 @ 7am

I was in correspondence with Jim Symon for a while (see and he apparently took my personal mail address, because after a trip to Sumatra where he and David Attenborough found a ripe fruiting spike of A. titanum, I received a box of seeds! Uncertain what I should do with them, I left it for when I figure that out. When I check on the seeds a long time later, the whole fruiting mass was a putrid mess. I decided that rather than toss it out – I spread it on a pot I had handy (after I removed the plant that had recently expired in same) and kept it well watered. The smell eventually went away and lo and behold, seedlings came up like grass!! I was now over run with new little plants! (out of the frying pan and into the fire!) I grew them on and started to give them away to all my aroid-crazy horticultural friends. I grew several to 2-gal size but eventually found them all homes. It was then that I learned that seedlings from the same seed distribution were being auctioned at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden for hundreds of dollars EACH!

Posted by Sean O on 4 January 2012 @ 1pm


Plantgasm is where Derek Powazek chronicles his botanical antics and misadventures. More.