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Stuff You Should Know: The Corpse Plant

Amorphophallus titanum, commonly known as the corpse plant, is infamous for the stench of rotting meat that emanates from the flower during bloom. While it’s only one of the many plants that emit a carrion like odor, amorphophallus titanium is the most famous. With heights reaching over 10 feet, it has what appears to be the largest flower in the world; however, the corpse plant is actually a cluster of much smaller flowers, called an inflorescence.

An amorphophallus titanum plant from Meijer Gardens.

Seen above, the endangered corpse plant is also famous due to the fact that it only blooms between 3 and 10 years and only for around 30 hours. Due to the endangered status of the plant, and the rarity of the bloom, only a few flowers bloom every year and it’s typically regarded as a major event that attracts spectators.

The smell, which is enhanced by heat given off by the plant, is created to attract flies and other pollinators. Analysis of chemicals that the flower releases show that the stench is made up of smells like garlic, cheese, rotting fish, and sweat among many other similar chemicals.

The exotic yet disgusting smell along with rare blooms make the corpse flower unique, however the deep colors and unusual appearance turn this flower into a sight to behold.

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