Amorphophallus Titanum

Amorphophallus titanum or titan arum, more well known as the corpse flower is native to Sumatra, more well known as the place that grows kickass coffee. This interesting name is due to the unusual method of which it attracts insects for pollination. When it blooms, which occurs once every 3-4 years, it warms to around 100°F and emits a fragrance not unlike 5 pounds of hamburger that were left in an unplugged refrigerator in August for 2 weeks. This attracts flies and other insects that are into landing on rotting meat.

UConn's corpse flower bloomed last night, and we checked it out. When we left my office, there were three news vans at the greenhouse, so we knew something must be going on. Ended up being on live TV (well, not on TV, the camera didn't pan through the crowd far enough)

It definitely does smell like rotting meat; it is also very large. This one was taller than me.. Probably around 71/2 feet. In fact, it has the largest unbranched inflorescence (flower bunch) in the world. The above photos were taken at 2:00ish pm, 10:00ish pm, and this morning at 10:00. I talked to the head botonist guy and he said it was so stinky and hot it was steaming at around 2:00 am last night.

There were also regular flowers in the greenhouse:

Amorphophallus titanum means "giant misshapen penis"


karanoelle said…
Thank goodness for febreeze. (wink wink)

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