Peter Grande – A Living Sculpture

Here are a few images from the blessed event, starting when Peter began to open around 2pm Friday

4pm Friday – Do you think this view from below makes his hips look big?

Below…a view from above @ 4pm Friday as the spathe unfurls, creating a bicolor effect

Fully open around 7pm Friday evening having a Georgia O’Keeffe moment

By 5pm, it the female parts were receptive, so it was time for the artificial insemination to begin.To reach the female parts, we cut three window in the base of the spathe.

Inside are hundreds of female ovaries/stigmas, covered in a sticky syrup to hold the pollen. Next, we made a withdrawal from our sperm bank and recovered the pollen from our own Amorphophallus albus that flowered a few weeks earlier. Our goal is to create a winter hardy, offsetting version of Amorphophallus titanum that we could grow in the ground here. Small paintbrushes are used to apply the pollen to all of the stigmas.

The final step is for our surgical team, led by Amorphophallus guru, Alan Galloway, is to stitch up the incision to prevent infection and excessive drying. For this, we used a highly specialized product known as packing tape. Re-attaching the cut pieces also helps to maintain the stability of the entire inflorescence. We should know in a month if we were successful.

Saturday morning @ 7am – the spathe continues to reflex downward…and the fragrance continues to waft upward

Saturday morning from the top, looking down the spadix

Saturday morning peeking underneath his kilt.

Here’s a cool photo of the worlds tallest Amorphophallus alongside the world’s smallest amorphophallus, A. ongsakulii…cool to have them both flowering together.

It’s great to see people getting so excited about plants, and it’s especially wonderful to see so many young kids visiting Peter Grande. 

I’ll never forget as a child, the first time I saw the old grainy black and white image of Amorphophallus titanum in A.B. Graff’s Exotica…I was hooked. Hopefully seeing Amorphophallus titanum in person will influence these young people to enter the field of botany and horticulture, which is desperately in need of an infusion of youthful exuberance. We hope can drop by to see Peter in person.

#PeterGrande #Plantdelights #PDN #JuniperLevel #JLBG #TitanArum #Amorphophallustitanum 

11 thoughts on “Peter Grande – A Living Sculpture”

  1. Linda Copeland

    So much fun to see this, Tony. Thanks so much for posting. Good luck with the pollinating project.

  2. Marsha McCollum Leutza

    Kind of like breeding a Kardasian with a Twiggy ! Wonder what the offspring will look like….or if can stand up !

  3. Joyce Bentley

    Thank you so much for the live cams. I’ve watched and marveled at the plant – and at your lack of fear in letting people get so close! Like you, I hope a young person’s interest will be sparked by seeing a wonder like Peter Grande. I loved seeing the ‘windows’ and reading the description of why they were made. I couldn’t figure out what people were seeing at the base of the plant. Right now, I wish I were that ‘young person’!!

  4. Stopped by this afternoon with my wife and oldest daughter to take a look. Really appreciated the fact that the plant was not in some ‘exclusion zone’ and was surprised when the staff member said “Yea, it’s fine to touch it, just be gentle.” I saw the one at NCSU a few years ago and could not get closer than about 5′ to it, so it was awesome to be able to get up close here, touch the plant, and get a nice sample of the odor. My 16yo was a bit reluctant to get in the truck and drive to the nursery with me (even though we only live about 15 mins away) but by the end of the visit, even she was a little excited about the whole thihng (although she tried hard to not let it show!)

    Thanks for making this type of thing so accessible to us common folks!

  5. I’m so glad I could be there Friday and witness such a momentous event!!! I was worried about a mob scene with thousands of people, instead, it was a very intimate experience in which at one point I was one of a crowd of two. Anyone with an interest in plants should experience something like this!!!!! Thanks very much to Tony, Anita, and the great staff at Plant Delights for making it happen. And hopefully Peter will be a legendary stud!!!!❤️

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