At the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio the Devil’s Tongue or Voodoo Lilies are blooming.
They are a quite spectacular sight to see because they are huge.
The tuber is approximately 10 inches across and the stalks are from 15 to 30 inches in length. Brownish green and white spotted.
The peduncle is 2 foot long.The spathe 8 – 12 inches long. The blade is green outside and dark purple within.
It is very popular in Japan as a cooking supplement for soups and stew-like dishes. The tuber are raised and then cooked (usually cooking is also done on a commercial basis) or reduced to a substance somewhat stiffer than gelatin. The resultant material is pressed into blocks and sold like tofu in the grocery stores. The Japanese pronounce it cone-yuk.
The main substance in konjac is called Glucomannan which has a low caloric content but is rich in dietary fiber. Clinical study indicates the Glucomannan may be responsible for weight reduction and reducing cholesterol in those who have high cholesterol. It is eaten in Japan to clean the digestive tract of toxins.
If true I think I need to eat a lot of it. LOL!
Once the spathe opens, pollination must happen the same day. The inflorescence, in many species, emits a scent of decaying flesh, in order to attract insects, though a number of species give off a pleasant odor. Through a number of ingenious insect traps, pollinating insects are kept inside the spathe to deposit pollen on the female flowers, which stay receptive for only one day, while the male flowers are still closed. These open the next day, but by then the female flowers are no longer receptive and so self-pollination is avoided. The male flowers shower the trapped insects with pollen. Once the insects escape, they can then pollinate another flower.
Nature is so fascinating.
These are typical lowland plants, growing in the tropical and subtropical zones from West Africa to the Pacific Islands. None of them are found in the Americas.
They are beautiful to look at but you do not have to get too close to smell their nasty fragrance. LOL!
Everyone have a great week and….