For the first time in seven years, the corpse flower will bloom in all its smelly glory and all are invited to the University of Minnesota to get a whiff of the famously horrible stench.
- Amorphophallus titanum or “corpse flower” is famous for its disgusting stench
- It’s native to the Sumatran rainforests, and can grow up to 6 feet in height
- The University of Minnesota is inviting visitors all week to get a sniff of the plant
The Amorphophallus titanum is a very famous plant in spite of its rather unattractive qualities. The name itself stands for “misshapen giant penis”, so one can imagine no one gave it much of a chance to become an attraction in every house. And all this is in addition to the foul smell akin to that of rotten meat, thus the title of “corpse flower”.
However, it has become nonetheless popular among enthusiasts who want to view its very rare bloom and get to smell the extremely horrible scent that emanates from the giant plant. It’s is a rare sight, as the plant itself is native to the Sumatran rainforests where it faces a fierce battle over its main pollinators, the sweat bees. Due to its very pungent smell, the insects can get a whiff of it from a mile away. So, nature had it’s own reasons for helping it turn the nose of every human that gets near.
The “corpse flower” is also thermogenic, meaning it has the ability to heat itself up. The temperature can reach that of a normal human being, and it’s precisely what aids in giving off that notorious smell. The hotter the plant gets, the stronger the smell. And, according to several visitors who had taken a whiff of it in the past, it’s enough to turn your stomach.
The plant can grow up to 6 feet in height and produces a single leaf that lasts up to one full year. It dies when the underground corm manages to gather enough energy. By then, the flower is ready to emerge. It’s a rare event that has no true timetable. It may take several years between blooms, which is why numerous visitors gather around the rare plant. In fact, those numbers round up to tens of thousands.
According to Lisa Aston Philander from the College of Biological Sciences Conservatory, there are multiple festivals built around the Amorphophallus titanum. They all gather just to get a sniff at the horrible-smelling plant and watch its rare bloom before the leaf perishes once again.
This week, the University of Minnesota is gladly inviting anyone who wants to take in the fascinating scent and phallic-shaped aspect of the plant along with its horrendous smell. Viewing will be available from Monday through Friday, between 9 A.M. and 3:30 P.M., so it’s there and waiting. If anyone wants to know how a rotting corpse smells, here’s your chance.
Image source: planetsave.com