Tags: corpse | flower | smelliest | titan arum | blooming

Corpse Flower: Smelliest Titan Arum Begins Blooming at Botanic Garden

Image: Corpse Flower: Smelliest Titan Arum Begins Blooming at Botanic Garden

Tuesday, 23 Jul 2013 12:33 PM

By Newsmax Wires

The "corpse flower" — the world's smelliest flower, formally known as the Titan arum — began blooming Sunday in Washington D.C. at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

The Titan arum, a giant rainforest plant, is dubbed the "corpse flower" for its rotting flesh-like smell, according to The Associated Press.

Editor's Note: Don't Miss These Free Government Giveaways

Experts had been anticipating its bloom for more than a week and extended the garden's hours for visitors each night.

Garden officials expect "peak smell" to occur early Monday morning, and the flower to remain open for an estimated 24 to 48 hours. Then it will begin to collapse on itself. The last corpse flower to bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden was in 2007.

The titan arum is native to the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. It was first discovered in 1878. Corpse flowers also have recently bloomed at facilities in Ohio and in Belgium.

Scientists say the flower's strange odor serves to attract beetles or other insects that are normally drawn to rotting flesh.

"Just in the same way that a lovely smelling plant, like a rose, is attracting a bee or another kind of insect with what we would consider a very nice smell, to pollinate it, this particular plant has the strategy of using a horrible, fetid smell to attract insects," said Ari Novy, the public programs manager at the garden. "So this plant is essentially tricking those kinds of insects into coming, having a party inside of the plant and the flower and pollinating it and then moving on."

The titan arum growing at the U.S. Botanic Garden is about 10 years old, and this is its first flower. It began with a seed the size of a lima bean and has grown several feet tall. The plants bloom on irregular, unpredictable schedules, Novy said. A hot, humid climate provides the ideal conditions for the plant to produce a flower.

Besides drawing beetles, the titan arum has proven to be a big draw for visitors.

"Over the last many years, this plant has proven to be the biggest attractor, not only of carrion beetles but of human beings that we've had," Novy said. "It's just got everything for a good mystery. It's cryptic. It's exotic. The timing is off. It's inconsistent. It's inconsiderate. It's got all those great things. It's from far away, and it smells bad, and people get interested."

Discovered in 1878, Scientists say the Titan arum's smell attracts insects that are normally drawn to rotting flesh.

Editor's Note: Get the Navy SEALs Cap – Celebrate Our Heroes

Related stories:

400-Year-Old Plants Embedded in Glacier Revived by Scientists

Sunflower DNA Map Could Produce Plants for Fuel

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Kurt Cobain Documentary: Courtney Love, Daughter Frances Bean Reunite

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 17:22 PM

A Kurt Cobain documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend, bringing together the rocker’s daugh . . .

Coinbase Launch: Company to Open First Regulated Bitcoin Exchange in US

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 16:50 PM

San Francisco’s Coinbase opened the first regulated bitcoin exchange in the U.S. on Monday, a move that many believe wil . . .

Emma Watson: 'Beauty and the Beast' Role as Belle 'Feels Surreal'

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 16:16 PM

Emma Watson has been cast to play Belle in Disney’s upcoming live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast,” an announcem . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved