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Bulb fails, plant succeeds

Hi, I have a huge specimen of Crinum aquatica (African Onion). This magnificent plant takes up about 2/3rds of my 4-foot long, 70-gallon planted discus tank. The tank is lit by a 30-watt Triton, two 55-watt CFs, and one 96-watt CF. Last week on Thursday the 96-watt CF burnt out. The next day I noticed a couple of oddly shaped leaves emerging from the center of the plant and a little something happening on the side of the bulb of the plant. By the next day it was clear something really unusual was happening. Over the next five days it became clear that these two anomalies were enormous flower stems. The center stem is about as big around as my little finger, and they both look like stalks of celery with 5-6 potential flowers on top. Today (Wednesday) the center stalk reached the top of the tank! I have never seen anything grow that fast. I am mostly fascinated and delighted, but I am also a little nervous. This plant is by far the most spectacular single plant I have ever grown. Does anyone have experience with this plant flowering? I guess what I am really asking is: If I let this thing go ahead and flower, will it then do something dismaying? Like dropping all its leaves and dying back? Or can I go ahead and enjoy all this with confidence that my "monster octopus" will still be spectacular when it is done flowering.

Thank you,


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