he spathe is the big petal-like part that people consider the "flower". It looks like a tongue. The spadix is the thin spike part sticking out of it. It looks like a Dragon Arum, but the leaves are different. Can some one ID it?
About 20 years ago, I found the original plant in the jungles near to NTU. The Singapore government left the jungle for the soldiers to practise their warfare. Only a crazy person like me would ignore signs with 2 rifles on them.
I nurtured it, one day, many many years later, I saw the black flower. Not black black but burgundy black. The colour of dark liver. I was very excited. Many people come to my plants and they wowed at my "black tulip." I had a gardening column on NTU staff's Nanyang connect website, so the plant is seen all round the world as the professors are international.
So I grew many pots to present it especially to Indian friends. Strange as it may seem, my friends could not make their plants flower. It was as if some one says some people put a voodoo so that only they could have the special plant.
The bloom lasts only 1 day and is best only in the early morning. It doesn't bloom much. May be once every 2 years. If you don't catch it blooming in the morning, you have to wait for another year or 2. This applies only if you have a green thumb like me.
This reminds me of the search for the black tulip. Only this slipper like flower is so rare. You see, I snuck into the jungle and stole the mother plant and brought the jungle back with me. I had been quite successful in propagating the plant in pots. I thrill my Indian friends when I present a flowering plant to them with their name sake.
An Australian friend thinks that a similar plant in Australia is called the black slipper. The way the bloom disappears reminds me of Cinderella having to rush back before the carriage turned back into the pumpkin. Perhaps the Aussie person was a great fan of children's stories and named it Cinderella, one of my all time favourites when I was young.
One Christmas, I received an email with a power point of presentation of flowers. This flower made their last page. My friend said it's your plant. They cropped it without the pot.
It makes me wonder if that photo came from my original plant photo. If they did, I wish, they would at least credit me. My lawyer daughter says, you didn't copyright it, you didn't water mark it. It's your own fault. At least, you feel privilege that some one borrowed your flower.
For my save the world theme, share what you have. When I left Singapore, I sold my plants and raised more than $2000 for the Deaf Children in Kenya.
I am so excited, 2 of my FB friends have told me that they have it in Sarawak, and Luke tells me he has it in his garden