At one time, these corpse-flowers were an extreme rarity. I think Attenborough had to go into a jungle to find one about twenty years back. Now the stinky triffids seem to be happy to bloom in captivity all over the place.
Two giant, rare 'corpse' flowers bloom in Chicago
June 3, 2017
It is unusual enough to see one of nature's biggest, rarest—not to mention smelliest—flowers bloom. But it is extraordinary to see two bloom at once.
That is why two seven-foot-tall corpse flowers at the Chicago Botanic Garden have attracted thousands of visitors this week, despite the smell of rotting flesh that the flowers emit to attract pollinating beetles and flies.
The rare flowers, officially called titan arum, are naturally occurring in just one place on Earth—the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They are threatened by deforestation, and botanic gardens around the world are cultivating and preserving them.
Here's the latest blooming in California. I'm posting primarily to have the excuse FOR finally posting a pic here on the board ...
Stinky ‘corpse flower’ in full bloom in California
Visitors were flocking to the Huntington Library in Southern California on Friday to get a whiff of a so-called corpse flower, known for the rotten stench it releases when it blooms.
The flower, nicknamed “Stink,” began blooming unexpectedly on Thursday night, Huntington spokeswoman Lisa Blackburn said.
“We thought we had a few more days to go. But it was ready, and it was pretty spectacular,” she said. “The great thing about these flowers is they’re so unusual-looking and have this reputation for smelling really bad. It gets all kinds of people really interested in botanical science. It’s just a charismatic plant.”
Corpse flowers typically take 15 years to reach a mature blooming size, and blooms usually only last 24 hours.
The foul odor the plants emit attracts insects for pollination. The plants don’t emit the foul odor until they bloom.
“It smelled like rotting meat or decaying rats or gym socks,” said Brandon Tam, an orchid specialist at the Huntington.
The scent decreased on Friday afternoon as the flower started to close back up. “But if you are close enough, you’ll be able to get a little whiff of it,” Tam said.
“Stink” is the sixth corpse flower to bloom at the institution in suburban San Marino. The last was on Aug. 23, 2014. ...
World’s smelliest plant to blossom for third time in Edinburgh
The world’s most pungent plant is set to burst into bloom for the third time in Scotland
Amorphophallus titanum, also known as the corpse flower, is a rare and endangered specimen currently grown in the tropical glasshouse at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh which has only flowered twice previously, in 2015 and 2017.
The plant gets its name from the stench of rotting flesh it emits while it is in full bloom, intended to attract pollinators which feed on dead wild animals or lay their eggs in rotting meat.
The stench has also been described as smelling strongly of cheese, rotting fish, sweaty socks and faeces.
Experts calculate that it will flower at the end of June for around a week, with the first few days being the most pungent.
Bringing it to the point of flowering has involved the glasshouse team replicating the conditions it would experience in its native country. In the wild it grows only in the Bukit Barisan range of mountains in West Sumatra where the climate is very humid and hot.
The plant was gifted to Scotland in 2003 in the form of a corm which was the size of an orange. When it was most recently measured in 2010 it weighed 153.9kg, making it the largest ever recorded.
It recently started growing at a rate of around 14cm per day, and now stands at nearly two metres tall.
Before producing its first flower in 2015, it had to be nurtured for 12 years at in the tropical greenhouse at the Royal Botanic Garden.
On the two previous occasions that the plant has bloomed, thousands of visitors have flocked to experience the smell before it subsided and the plant drooped.
Louise Galloway, Glasshouse Supervisor, said: “The Amorphophallus titanum can be difficult to grow to flowering stage and they usually take about seven to ten years to reach maturity.
“Often after flowering and setting seed in the wild the plant’s energy is exhausted and it dies.
“We have been very lucky to have a stable corm, which has produced a consistent flower every two years since maturing.”
The initial bloom is expected to occur at night and give off the strongest smell when it first opens.
Plans are already being formed to allow members of the public access late at night to experience “peak pungency”.
Dr Mark Hughes, RBGE Tropical Botanist, said: “Its flowering here at RBGE for the third time symbolises our long-term commitment to the research and conservation efforts in that region.”
While the Latin name literally translates as “giant misshapen penis”, the more commonly known name “titan arum” was developed by Sir David Attenborough while filming The Private Life of Plants, as the Latin name was thought inappropriate for a BBC audience.
In 2018 the plant species was classified as endangered due to habitat loss.