World's largest and smelliest flower, open for business
On June 13, the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum), bloomed, bringing joy and a powerful stench of rotting flesh to all the hundreds of visitors who gathered to witness this event at the Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid in Galveston Island, Texas, USA. The flower, measuring in at 56 inches tall and 40 inches in circumference, blooms only for 2-4 days. Native of Sumatra, Indonesia, the flower of this plant has an unpredictable blooming schedule and grows from an underground tuber which can weigh up to 200 pounds. Rare in it own native land, it is an extremely rare event to see such plant grow and bloom in a garden.
\"The stench and beauty of this plant are equally amazing,\" said Donnita Brannon, horticulture exhibit manager at Moody Gardens; the plant first broke dormancy May 1 and since then there has been a lot of expectation about when it would bloom. \"She is even more beautiful than I expected. We are celebrating and invite guests to hurry out to the Rainforest Pyramid to share this experience with us.\"
The Corpse Flower is named after the unpleasant odor the plant emits during flowering, which resembles the smell of rotting flesh, and serves to attract its pollinators: carrion beetles and sweat flies. Considered the largest flowering plant in the world, can be over 10 feet tall, it is also the largest unbranched inflorescence, containing both male & female flowers.
Discovered in 1878 by Italian plant explorer Odoardo Beccari, the plant, because of its enormous size and powerful stench, was thought to be a man-eating plant. Despite fear from Beccari\'s men the explorer brought back seeds to the botanical gardens in Florence, Italy. And later sent seedlings to The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, England, where the first recorded bloom occurred in 1889, attracting massive crowds of people.