Elephant Yam or Pongapong flower

Amorphophallus-paeoniifolius- about 11 inches in
circumference. Click photo to enlarge.
Amorphophallus-paeoniifolius (another synonym: Amorphophallus-campanulatus). Amorphophallus means 'amorpho' (without shape or misshapen) and 'phallus' is penis.  It is also called elephant foot yam or pongapong in Filipino.

I came across a singular plant on our property in May of 2012. It looked liked a crazy coloured and whacked out Calla Lily.  When I opened up the closed flower, there were many beetles inside of it, and I have since found out the beetles pollinate the plant.

The larger one in the photo beside this text is the 2nd one I found a week later. It's so much bigger. The first one I found was only about 3 inches in circumference. The one I found today is about 11 inches.  Apparently they grow up to over 6 feet tall.
The first specimen of elephant yam
I came across on our property.
I've found references to it from Northern Samar and Cebu.  In fact, it is a famous Christmas Delicacy in San Roque, Northern  Samar.

The plant generally attains maturity in 6 to 7 months. Each plant produces one big root which is then cooked with coconut milk and sugar. The plant can be harvested from September until December of the same year or until January the following year.
From this article: http://socyberty.com/holidays/amorphophallus-paeoniifolius-a-famous-christmas-delicacy-in-san-roque-northern-samar-philippines

I think I will dig up the tuber of the first plant I found, since it's in the middle of a pathway, and put it in a large planter near the house.
This is a huge tuber of the elephant
yam plant.

I found another blog about this plant and I borrowed this photo of a chap holding a large tuber. The flower apparently smells quite bad.  I'd been smelling something that reminded me of an American skunk, and maybe it was this plant. By the time I came across the fist small specimen, it didn't seem to have that odor.



The largest Pongapong has opened up. I guess it smells funky as it drew my cat in the smell it. I, on the other hand
didn't notice any particularly bad smell. Go figure.

Elephant yam plant stalk and leaves.


The largest of the elepant yam flower without the cat in frame.

This first specimen amazed me..but after seeing how large they get I'm even more
intrigued by this plant.  Scroll down to see one as tall as a person. Actually, the 2 new flowers don't seem to have this long stamen. I am wondering if this is the male version of this flower or a different variety. This one was on a long stem as well, while the new flowers are blooming next to the ground.
This third Pongapong flower has a little bit taller stem than the larger, and some yellow dots at the top. Of the three on my property. Each has different variations.

Elephant foot yam or pongapong in Filipino, on our property in Luzviminda, Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
A gigantic elephant foot yam!

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