The “Corpse” is Ready to Bloom in Honolulu

LNH,

The largest flower in the world and also one of the smelliest,the Titan Arum or the corpse plant is expected to bloom at Foster Botanical Garden as early as July 2.

The flower of this vivacious variety, the Titan Arum is about 5-feet-9-inches-tall, and sometime even crosses the said height limit and grows more than 10 feet. The reason it is known as the ‘corpse plant’, is due to its distinctive aroma when in full bloom.

The Plant Story

The Titan Arum or Amorphophallus titanum is native to Indonesia, Philippines and other islands of the South Pacific. The uniqueness of the plant is that it blooms sporadically, and flowers only for a few days. It consists of a fragrant spadix (spike) of small flowers, which resembles a large loaf of French bread.

The spadix is wrapped by a spathe, which looks like a large petal and is green on the outside and dark burgundy red on the inside.

The plant is pollinated by carrion eating beetles and flesh flies. In order to attract pollinators, Titan arum uses several tricks to convincingly mimic a rotting piece of meat. The flower’s deep red color and texture, along with the powerful scent contribute to the illusion.

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