World's largest, stinkiest flower

Discussion in 'Flower & Garden Forum' started by amid chaos, May 2, 2002.

  1. amid chaos

    amid chaos DIS Veteran

    Oct 23, 2000

    World's Biggest, Smelliest Flower Puts on Sex Show
    May 2 2002 6:08AM

    LONDON (Reuters) - The biggest, smelliest flower in the world was putting on the sexual performance of its life on Thursday after bursting into rare crimson blossom at London's Kew Gardens.

    The 165-pound titan arum, the rotten-smelling giant of the plant kingdom, unfurled its single stinky flower after beginning a dramatic growth spurt last week," a Kew spokeswoman said.

    "Last week the yellow shoot began to swell dramatically. It has now reached a height of almost three meters," she added.

    "The huge phallic flower has now unfurled to reveal its blood-red interior...and the plant has begun to heat up, giving off a pungent aroma described as a mixture of rotting flesh and excrement."

    Kew staff had nurtured the corm, or bulb, of the plant for six years in the hope of coaxing it into its dramatic fertility ritual.

    The putrid smell, which has earned it the nickname "corpse flower" is crucial to its survival in the wild because it tells pollinating bees that the plant is in bloom. Once the bees alight on the flower, it closes in over them and keeps them trapped until they are covered in pollen.

    Kew head of horticulture Nigel Taylor said the blossom was the largest ever seen at the garden. The last flowering of the titan arum -- properly named Amorphophallus titanum -- attracted almost 50,000 people to Kew over one week in 1996.

    Its flowering outside its native Sumatra is rare. There are only a handful of places around the world where it grows in cultivation and this is only the fifth time that one has bloomed at Kew since 1889.

    Kew horticulturists Greg Redwood and Phil Griffiths will attempt to fertilize the titan arum using pollen flown in from America and Germany.

    Kew will chart the flower's short life on its web site but those keen for a glimpse, or a whiff, in person must be quick. After three days, exhausted by its endeavor, the flower will begin to wilt.
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  3. TigH

    TigH <font color=red>WISH success story<br><font color=

    Jun 1, 2000
    That is so cool! What a strange looking plant.

    Thanks for the article and the links.! :)

    I tried to access the site but I think the server is down. I did a search and found this:

    Just wish I could get one whiff of it (even though it's putrid smelling!) ;)
  4. Mamu

    Mamu <a href="

    Feb 27, 2000

    I wonder if that smell would keep goslings away.

    Their back and after last year I wish they would move on quickly. I going to wrap the whole yard in string trying to keep them at least at a distance.

    Back you dirty birds back. Had 3 nesting pairs last year and what a mess.
  5. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 1999
    We had one of those bloom here in Madison, WI last summer. The lines to see it were very, very long. By the time I finally decided that I wanted to see (and smell) it, it had already stopped flowering. This fall it developed seed pods!
  6. Snowwark

    Snowwark DIS Veteran

    Jun 8, 2000
    Very cool Amid!!! :)

    Live fast, love hard, and carry a big stink! :D
  7. olena

    olena <font color=green>Emerald Angel<br><font color=mag

    May 12, 2001
    I'm not sure I'd want to smell it. It does look interesting though.
  8. Yay2001

    Yay2001 Well, we all shine on ...

    Aug 14, 2000
    Very interesting -- but "rotted flesh and manure" -- ???

  9. Ranatra

    Ranatra Elliott Fan

    Sep 17, 2000
    I think I'll pass on taking a whiff.:(
  10. TimNDansMom

    TimNDansMom <font color=red>Enjoys a leisurely lunch<br><font

    Mar 23, 2000
    Fascinating!!! I've just spent quite a while exploring all the info on both the Huntington and Kew websites. Thanks Amid and TigH!
  11. CorinnaJ

    CorinnaJ Guest

    That is so interesting! I've never heard of anything like that before!:D

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