Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Kruby by Any Other Name Still Smells

Members of my family have been growing a mysterious plant for at least fifty years. There many mysterious aspects to the history of this plant. First, what is the plant’s name? Family members called this botanical oddity, a Kruby. My grandfather gave my mother some of the bulbs or corms to grow her own Krubys. However, perhaps grandfather being a farmer had legendary success in cultivating a Kruby crop. Maybe it was his access to a secret ingredient or maybe not so secret as long as your farm has cows






Years, later my mother donated one of these plants to
Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory . The horticulturist told my mom that the plant’s scientific name is Amorphophallus konjac, which is native to Asia. Searching the Internet, you can find various names for this plant besides Konjac, such as Voodoo Lily, Devil’s Tongue, and Snake Plant. The name Kruby is nowhere to be found.

If you decide to grow this unique plant, you need to be aware of the dreadful foul-smelling stench emitted by the enormous bloom. Growing the plants is relatively easy. You place the bulb or corm in the ground and wait. Some say that the flower does not bloom often, and the flower blossoms in a strange way. Here in the Midwest, the plants grow quickly in the summer; the green leaf dies off and maybe, just may be followed by the gigantic maroon evil-smelling blossom.



Thanks to my lovely sisters, Shirley and Marie for providing the family pictures of the Krubys. My sweet sister, Ruthie has sent word that the family Konjac at the conservatory is blooming right now. You can bet it stinks.

13 Comments:

At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

STINK is not a strong enough word for that smell. Mom used to put a drycleaners bag over it so to contain the stench...and still allow viewing. That is one smell you will never forget. Unlike big bro Daddy D, I haven't been sucessful in getting one to bloom ...guess that makes me...... thankful.
Sweet sister Ruthie

 
At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Patsy said...

Hey, I have heard of that plant! It's one that I would pass on. You are brave to grow such a stinker!

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

LOL, I just loved this post. I love to learn all there is about pants. This one indeed takes the cake at being an oddity. Perhaps the name you knew it as was a family slang word for the plant.
The best sentence in the whole post was the very last one..."You can bet it stinks!"....LOL, gotta love it.

 
At 7:04 PM, Blogger peppypilotgirl said...

And you want to grow a giant plant that stinks why?

I think one of our state universities had one of those bloom this year - or maybe not that exactly because I think that this one was bigger but it looked like that and the paper went on and on about the stench emitted.

Do you know where the family got the original one from?

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger it's the little things said...

I have four kids, two dogs, a rat and a guinea pig. I can't imagine anything to the house that would add additional 'stink'.
You are brave folk!

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger Tink said...

It STINKS?! Wow. I think I'll just enjoy the beauty of it from here, thankyouverymuch. But I'll remember it. Just in case I need gift ideas for people I don't really like.

 
At 7:02 AM, Blogger Queen of Dysfunction said...

Holy cow! That is one really neat looking plant, I have never seen anything like that. Did you get a family history on how it came to be in your family's yard?

 
At 7:51 AM, Anonymous susan said...

That's really neat looking...although I think I'd make it an outdoor plant.

I'm also curious about how it got in the family in the first place.

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger mjd said...

Being part of Daddy D's family, I have come to appreciate the funny, stinky plants. Actually, the plant itself is pretty and umbrella-like. Note the line of plants on our deck. Reportedly, the flower does not bloom very often so no need to worry about the stinkiness. However, Daddy D and I were able to grow two plants with blooms. One of the flowers grew in his chemistry lab at school. We were able to produce a flower at our home too. The smell was tremendous. At first, the bloom was in a room, which not used often, and we closed the door . As the Kruby, Konjac, Voodoo Lily matured the stench permeated the entire house so we placed the plant on the front porch.

Why do we grow the evil-odor plants? It is a family tradition besides they are interesting. Where did Grandpa get the flowers? Daddy D is trying to research this.

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger Frema said...

Love these pictures.

I've never grown anything in my life. It's probably best not to start with ones that smell.

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger Stace said...

That is quite an impressive bloom. I rather think I want one! Despite it's smell. I tend to like odd and unusual things!

 
At 4:26 AM, Blogger Melly` said...

Oh - the plant looks magnificent...

I once had this cactus that would flower only at night - the most beautiful flower... and no evil smell. During summer I placed it in the fireplace to show it off. However the flower would die off come daylight...and emit a terrible smell. My mother lived in the granny flat at the house..and I blamed her cats. Her cats would enter the room, and so long as my Mama wasnt around.. I would spray them with water and hiss and fuss them away...

It wasnt till my mother moved away I found out the cactus flower was the damn smell. And I am hoping my mother is still unaware of how mean I was to her beloved companions!

The colour of your plant is just amazing.

 
At 10:35 AM, Blogger Tiggerlane said...

I didn't know a person could own one of these! I always heard it called a "death plant," and figured it was very rare....how cool! (And stinky!)

 

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