When the plants are ready to pollinate, the stem heats up to release a pungent smell, which lasts for about three days.
When I read about this ‘smelly flower’ today in the news, I was quite amazed. The news on different sites say that ‘thousands are flocking to Switzerland to see the ‘Corpse Flower‘ with it’s pungent smell of rotten flesh.’ The first impression I got was that it’s something man made and especially the words ‘smell of rotten flesh’ made me think as if humans have started making flowers out of flesh now!!! Is it what’s left to do? But thank God, I was wrong.
In fact, it’s a Titan Arum, giant flowering plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world. Due to it’s odor which is reminiscent of the smell of decomposing mammal, it’s given the name of ‘corpse flower.’ It’s inflorescence can reach over 3 meters (10 feet) in height. Its cultivated by botanic gardens and private collectors around the world.
Thousands of plant lovers have flocked to the northern Swiss city of Basel today to see a giant, stinky flower bloom for the first time in 17 years. It’s in full bloom after 75 years at the University of Basel in Switzerland. The flower was expected to remain open until on Sunday.
The Independent says, “The Basel Botanical Gardens expects 10,000 people to have filed past its Amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower, standing in its full glory before the bloom wilts. ” Moreover, “There have been only 134 blooms from artificial cultivation recorded across the world; the plant in Basel had been growing for 17 years and is flowering for the first time.”
Titan Arum is coveted by collectors and plant enthusiasts around the world because of its strange blooming patterns. Twelve of them are housed at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the Princess of Wales Conservatory among hundreds of other tropical plants, according to the Mail.
- When the plants are ready to pollinate, the stem heats up to release a pungent smell, which lasts for about three days.
- The largest Arum at Kew gardens weighs 90 kilograms and grows at a staggering rate of a quarter of an inch an hour.
- It guzzles liquid fertiliser and potassium each week to keep up its strength while bedded in roomy surroundings