The excitement surrounding the corpse flower, also known by its scientific name Amorphophallus titanum, is not unfounded considering that the ultra-rare plant is known to bloom only once every seven to ten years. The flower is also considered to be one of the largest in the world.
While the plant is native to Indonesia, its saplings have been cultivated in zoos, botanical gardens and greenhouses around the world over the years.
What is the ‘corpse flower’?
- The ‘corpse flower’ is a flowering plant, which is native to the rainforests of Sumatra in Indonesia. The scientific name of the rare plant, Amorphophallus titanum, quite literally translates to giant, misshapen phallus — presumably due to its appearance.
- The corpse flower is known to be one of the world’s largest ‘unbranched inflorescence’ or a stalk bearing a cluster of flowers. The average corpse flower has a lifespan of about three-four decades.
- Apart from its appearance, the flower is known for its pungent stench, which is said to be similar to rotting meat or a decaying cadaver. The plant emits the distinct smell only when it is in bloom, which happens once every 10 years or so and only for a brief period of time.
- The corpse flower has its distinct smell for a reason. It is also known as a Carrion flower, or a flower that emits a heady odour in order to attract pollinating insects in the wild such as scavenging flies and beetles.
- The flowers of the plant are pollinated by scavenging insects, which are drawn to it due to its odour.
- It was listed as an endangered plant in 2018 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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