This photo, I cropped it to show just the flower. The 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.
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 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.