Amorphophallus krausei Engl.
Geographic distribution: Myanmar, N. Thailand, China: Yunnan
Origin of the plant in the photos: W. Hetterscheid's collection, ID#H.AM.040
Upon emergence, the petiole of this Asiatic species appeared very similar to A. ankarana from Madagascar. The brownish/burgundy spotted petiole of A. cf. krausei has just a shade less red in it. The leaves are much thinner, with exquisite pattern of veins, giving the leaflet appearance of lace when viewed against a light source. I'll have to capture this on a photo one day. A. cf. krausei is quite phototropic, although nowhere to the degree exhibited by A. albispathus. If grown in part shade, it will stretch in the direction where it can get the brightest light.
This clone has leaves that are rather untypical of Am. krausei. When I first saw its leaf after I got it from Kew Gardens where it was found as an escapee in several pots with all kind of names, I did not associate it at all with A. krausei. The leaflets of A. krausei are much narrower and don't show that very fine reticulate venation of 040, which makes the leaf of the latter so pretty. Also the petiole pattern in "typical" krausei is quite different and usually has a pale green background with large, narrowly elongate, dark green spots.
The rhizomatous offsets of 040 are twice as thick as typical krausei, and the plants never get as big as krausei. Also 040 is a bitch to flower. I only managed to do that once, while at the same age, krausei may flower every second season.
Why then is 040 krausei? Well, that one time it flowered the inflorescence turned out to be too close to krausei for comfort, although it also showed some differences, like the sterile (staminodial) zone hardly being developed and consisting of several transitional "flowers" and the relative length of male zone vs. appendix was quite different from krausei. So, although I have assigned that plant to krausei, I am still not entirely happy with its ID and in my collection the 040 clone is "cf. krausei".
|Here is the general appearance of the plant, about 2 weeks after leafing out. It is possible that it grew taller than it should be, as it had to be brought indoors for some cooler weather, and then it tried to grow towards the nearest window.||
Stem patterning. Actually, the stem is somewhat darker than in appears here.
|Top view of the leaf.|
|Here is the tuber of the plant shown above, with rhizomatous offsets.|
This photograph is also available in larger size (53.7 kB).
|The leaf of this species has an extraordinarily lacy and translucent appearance when viewed in backlight.|
|The tuber shown above has produced four stems, as expected...|
|Another backlighted photo.|
All photos Copyright © 1996-1997 Krzysztof Kozminski
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