After blooming in 2007, the Zoo's titan arum, Cronus, entered a dormant period for several months. But he is back and dazzling us again. Cronus has produced a leaf and oh what a leaf! A single huge umbrella-like leaf has appeared at the top of Cronus' stalk. The Zoo's Manager of Horticulture, Don Krock, tells me that the titan arum may produce more than one of these leaves -- each one lasting up to a year followed by a period of dormancy -- before it blooms again. I read that the compound leaf can reach 20 feet tall and 15 feet across in the wild. Don tells me that Cronus' former leaf was smaller than the the present one (before he bloomed last year) -- could this mean that our beloved titan will produce a more spectacular flower in the future? I guess we will just have to wait and see.
But I did snap a few photos of the titan arum a few weeks ago in the Zoo's greenhouse (it is hard to believe this is one leaf):
The entire plant:
A couple closer views of the leaf: