alocasia/elephant ear - how to pollinate????

Jeff Shimonski tropica1 at
Mon Sep 22 20:34:05 EST 1997

In article <600uba$cp1 at>,
	Jan Lewis <slither at> wrote:

>I have had an elephant ear living indoors in a sunny
>window for several years. Now it's flowering. It has
>two flowers that smell like bad deodorant. They also
>feel warm to the touch. Am I crazy or is this one of 
>the plants that can warm themselves?  

The inflorescence of many Aroids (if not all) are thermogenic.
Heat is produced when the flowers are ready to be polleniated.
They actually feel warm.

>	The top half of this flower spike is producing
>pollen. What does it want? Can I pollinate it? How?
>	Does flowering mean it's unhappy? 

Many of the Aroids have imperfect flowers. Alocasia, Dieffenbachia,
and Aglaonema have female flowers on the bottom half of the
inflorescence and male flowers on the top part. The pollen is
usually produced before the female flowers become viable thereby
assuring outcrossing. You can save the pollen in an airtight container
in the fridge and when the female flowers heat up, brush them
lightly with the pollen. With a little practice you'll have more seeds
then you know what to do with.

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