On August 19, Denver Botanic Gardens exhibited a giant “Corpse Flower” that was in bloom. The Amorphophallus titanium, this being its scientific name, displayed in Denver’s Botanic Gardens is 13 years old. It’s called “corpse flower” as its smell is similar to that of rotting flesh, and it’s meant to attract its prey: beetles, flies and other insects.
The corpse flower’s homeland is Sumatra, Indonesia. It’s also called the titan arum and it’s a flowering plant, with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world.
Due to its odor, which is reminiscent of a decomposing mammal’s smell, it gained the name of corpse plant. It is characterized as a carrion flower, or, more commonly known – stinking flower.
The corpse flower is endemic to Sumatra, where it grows in rainforests on limestone hills, however the plant has been collected by botanic gardens worldwide, therefore one specimen is at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
The flower’s currently in a greenhouse at the Botanic Gardens, where the stench is even stronger, as the smell is spread via fans that make the air circulate across the greenhouse.
It is actually an event, as the 13 year-old plant has never bloomed before, according to horticulturist Aaron Sedivy, who also reported they had received it as a donation in 2007.
The corpse plant’s life cycle is divided into three stages – first is the dormancy phase. Then, it could send out a leaf significant in size, or it could even flower, but the period for that to happen is approximately 10 to 15 years, so this particular specimen is right on time.
The flower grew by 5 inches each day, and meanwhile it reached 5 feet 3 inches in height, taking into consideration its young age.
But the bloom lasted for approximately 48 hours, and officials said on Friday morning that it had closed up, whereas the stench occurred for only eight hours from the initial moment of the blooming.
It seems some participants witnessing the Denver Botanic Gardens’ guest of honor were able to see this awe-inspiring plant in real life, as they might have seen it only in pictures in the first place. And their experience was definitely worth the while, as, not surprisingly, by sniffing the flower’s stench, they did find it noxious enough, as expected. Moreover, it seems that 12,000 people made their way through to the corpse flower on Wednesday.
All in all, the corpse flower is a remarkable natural phenomenon that continues to fascinate researchers and botanists alike.
Photo Credits cbsdenver.files.wordpress.com