Latin name: Amorphophallus variabilis
This is a relatively small and easy to care for Amorphophallus species. The maximum height will be about 1 meter and the species can also flower within a few years from sowing. The precise growth habit and, for example, the colors of the inflorescence are variable, which is why the species has received its Latin name variabilis. Usually there are pink shades in an otherwise fairly white spadix and bract, but it can also go towards yellow or purple. The flowers exude a sweet, durian-like scent that attracts beetles for pollination in the tropics. The species is mainly found on Java in Indonesia, but can also be found on small islands along the coast.
The plant can be kept with us as a houseplant, where 1 leaf will be visible at a time. Each leaf is followed from an underground tuber by a new leaf that is somewhat larger. Once a year the plant goes to rest, after which the tuber will sprout again. During the rest period it is important to water little, while the growth phase needs relatively much water. In addition, provide a good airy soil with e.g. Spaghnum moss, orchid soil and/or humus. And a shady place.
Sowing instructions: Sow the short shelf life seed in moist Spaghnum moss at 22-30 degrees Celsius. After germination, transfer to an airy soil mixture of e.g. Spaghnum moss, orchid soil, sowing and cutting soil and/or humus.
Sowing time: All year
Difficulty Level: Medium
Minimum temperature: 12 degrees Celsius
Amorphophallus variabilis is a species of flowering plant in the Araceae family. It is commonly known as the “snake palm” or “tiger palm” due to its distinctive patterned stem. It is native to Southeast Asia, specifically Indonesia, where it grows in tropical rainforests.
This plant is known for its large, striking inflorescence, which can reach up to 2 meters in height. The inflorescence consists of a spadix (a type of spike) surrounded by a large, leaf-like spathe. The spadix is covered in small flowers that emit a strong odor, which is often described as being similar to that of rotting meat. This odor is used to attract pollinators, such as flies and beetles.
Amorphophallus variabilis is also known for its edible corms, which are rich in starch and are used in traditional Indonesian cuisine. However, they must be properly prepared to remove the toxins that naturally occur in the plant. Additionally, the plant has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including skin conditions and respiratory infections.