Corpse Flower

Context

  • 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. World's largest flower Amorphophallus Titanum bloomed at Jindai Botanical Gardens in Tokyo
  • 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).

Source: Indian Express


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