Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Voodoo Lily at Bandarban

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Here is another flora from Bandarban(বান্দরবান) that I have found during our Pukur Para(পুকুরপাড়া) trekking. This is called as Voodoo Lily. Botanical/scientific name is Amorphophallus Bulbifer, a species from the genus Amorphophallus. Usually the flowers from the genus Amorphophallus used to be larger in size. For example Amorphophallus Titanum is the largest inflorescence in the world.

This plant is almost similar to the species Amorphophallus Campanulatus, which we used to call "Ol Kochu"(ওল কচু). Only the flower is different. Its leafs are used to be dark green during rainy season and grows rapidly that time. During winter the leafs used to desiccate and root remains dormant. During that period, it cannot stand water around the plant.

During the spring a mature Voodoo Lily plant used to give a flower. This plant doesn't give flower every year. Also, if it doesn't give any flower, it will give fresh leafs. You'll probably won't see the flower and leafs at the same time.

The flower is rose in color and having a phallic object at the middle of the flower. It has a single petal but rolled in such a way that it looks like a tuber petal. It has a 12-18 inches spotted stem(almost like skin of snake) and the flower used to stand at the top. I didn't find any smell from the flower, but according to experts, it used to have a negative fragrance during few hours of initial blooming.

This plant is endemic starting from South and North East of India, Himalaya to Myanmar. So our Bangladesh includes inside the range of this plant's home. In India, this plant used to call as "Devil's Tongue". Possibly because of the perioral burning and itching if you try to eat the root of the plant.

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