Time to pick the fruits of Amorphophallus
Yesterday French television said that all of northern Thailand is flooded. That is false! In Chiang Mai we have not had rain for two months. In fact, it is so dry we irrigate Dokmai Garden. We even have cancellations for the upcoming Christmas week due to the ‘flooding’. There is none here in Chiang Mai. Incompetent journalists are killing a whole region by spreading false rumours.
Anyhow, all that remains of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius (Araceae) above ground this dry time of the year is an erect fruit cluster. The nutrients formerly found in the leaves are now stored in the underground tuber. I planned to collect the mature red fruits and plant them to grow more specimens, but every morning when I go out some birds have been there before me. The birds are picky, orange fruits are not mature enough. Since this is a common species you may want to look for its fruits in scrublands nearby your Chiang Mai home.
Text & Photo: Eric Danell