Corpse flower

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Titan arum

Amorphophallus titanum, also known as titan arum, has the world’s largest unbranched inflorescence (collection of flowers). Consisting of fleshy spadix surrounded by spathe—leaf-like structure, it is one of the most memorable plants, thanks to its stench.

Corpse flower
Amorphophallus titanum is endemic to western Sumatra.
It’s an island in southeast Asia, western Indonesia. Titan arum grows in rainforests on limestone hills.
It was first described in 1878 by Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari.
Its first name, amorphophallus titanium, derives from Greek and refers to a certain male body part.
Since its name was too scandalous for the vast audience, it was replaced with titan arum.
For many years, David Attenborough was believed to be the inventor of the name titan arum for his 1995 documentary “The Private Life of Plants.” As a matter of fact, it was first used in 1961 in the American Horticultural Magazine.
It can reach up to 3—3.5 meters in height.
It’s commonly known as a corpse flower due to its smell.
It emits an odor resembling rotting meat or a decaying corpse. It takes approximately 30 chemicals to produce its scent. They include instance, methyl thioacetate, isovaleric acid, triethylamine, and sulfides.
Its spadix heats up to 36,6 degrees Celsius, which makes the scent more volatile.
Although it’s difficult to withstand for humans, it attracts pollinators, such as carrion-eating beetles and flesh flies, which help with plant reproduction.
The corpse flower contains both male and female flowers.
It usually blooms once in 4 to 10 years and only for a short period.
The blooming takes place within roughly 24 to 36-48 hours. First, the female part of the plant starts blooming, attracting insects with the stench, and on the following night the male phase of the bloom occurs, the stench lessens and pollinators leave, covered in pollen.
It is considered vulnerable.
Apart from being rare in the wild, the titan arum is vulnerable to the loss and destruction of its habitat.
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