The Corpse Flower not only emits a smell similar to that of decomposing bodies, but it also has a warm temperature.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – A specimen of corpse flower bloomed at Minnesota University after seven years of waiting. The flower, which got its name from the putrid smell it emits when in bloom. The event is very rare in the life of the exotic flower and it bears great significance for the botanical researchers at the Minnesota University.
The corpse flower is scientifically known as the “Amorphophallus titanium”, which is Latin for “giant misshapen phallus”. When the plant was first brought to the public’s attention in the documentary series “Private Life of Plants” by David Attenborough, the name seemed rather inappropriate, and could not be used on public television.
The logical solution was to find a new common name for the giant, foul-smelling plant. And because, when in bloom, it carries an odor similar to the ammonia released by rotting meat, the crew decided to name it the “Corpse Flower”.
The plant’s original name was chosen because the flower has a single unbranched spike inflorescence. It is believed to be the largest one in the world. The spadix, or the cluster of flowers, is engulfed by a supersized leaf, also known as the spathe, similar to the cuckoo pints and the calla lilies.
The leaf bears great resemblance to a palm tree as it can grow to up to 20 feet in height and it can live for nearly a year.
The “Corpse Flower” is a much-suited name for the “Amorphophallus titanium”, not only because of the foul stench it emits, but also because, when in bloom the spadix is colored in a bright red shade that resembles meat. And that is not all, the flower also has a human-like warm temperature that allows it to spread the putrid aroma for a significant distance.
The “Amorphophallus titanium” is a carnivorous plant. That explains the smell. Just as the “Rafflesia arnoldii”, it uses the powerful smell, color, and temperature to attract insects like sweat bees, burying beetles, flesh flies, even small necrophagous animals. They serve as both food, and pollinators, if they are able to escape.
The strange giant foul smelling flower is usually found in the western region of Sumatra. Because of its odd looks and the pungent aroma it spreads, the Corpse Flower is a valuable possession for both botanic gardens and collectors.
News that the Corpse Flower bloomed at Minnesota University has attracted plenty of curious eyes and noses. A public exhibition has already debuted on the 1st of February and the people interested in witnessing the strange plant’s odor can do so between 9 AM and 3:30 PM.
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