Yesterday I was a bit dismayed to go out and see that the Dragon Arum had begun to look a little droopy, as the "petal" was sagging down a bit ... I thought at first perhaps the heavy rains in the morning had caused it to bend down a bit. But upon closer inspection, I began to think that the bloom just isn't very long-lived ... a suspicion that was definitively confirmed when I looked out this morning.
Indeed, the party's over for this part of the cycle! You need see nothing more than the pictures I'm posting here tonight ... yep, this bloom is done spent. Flaccid, indeed. Laughably obscene I'd even say! But it still remains fascinating, even if we are a bit disappointed that it barely lasted a mere five days after all the dramatic build up since it emerged earlier this spring. So now that everything has done its seductive show and partied till it dropped, the real work of the plant is just beginning. We can already see that the base of the bloom, which obviously contains the ovaries, is swelling more, clearly preparing the next phase of its yearly cycle ... the equally bizarre seed pod.
What's also remarkable about the number of changes this flower has gone through since the beginning of the week, is that the colours have evolved on an almost daily basis... from starting a deep red, then to maroon, purple and now a muddy mixture of all of them ... I suppose one could analogize that the bloom has gone from its party best dress, on to some bacchanalian excesses and now complete and utter exhaustion has set in.
I hate to keep bringing up the blatant sexuality of this flower, but honestly ... what else comes to mind when you see what was once a boldly erect spadix wind up looking like this a mere two days after it was in its crowning glory? We just hope that all those flies who just days ago were flocking to it have done their work for the season and that the plant will be able to successfully complete its reproductive cycle for the year. And you can be sure that if we are able to harvest any viable seeds, they won't be long to find a home near the parent in the garden!
Photos Courtesy of Fernymoass, taken June 2, 2007