BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The curators working for the University of Minnesota’s Botanical Garden have extended an invitation towards the public in order to come and see the blooming titan arum. The putrid flower blooms in Minnesota after 7 years and too many attempts.
Although poets have often used the image of the flower in order to talk about fragility, beauty, and sensibility, this is not the case of the titan arum, known also as the corpse flower or the carrion flower. The flower does indeed look pretty, but once it blooms, it would be hard to miss it due to its emblematic corpse-like smell.
Lisa Aston Philander, a curator working at the Botanical Garden said that although far-fetched the idea might see, but the putrid flower is the heart of several festivals around the globe. It would seem that people travel long distances in order to take a whiff of the flower’s rotting meat-like odor.
As displeasing at it may seem, the putrid smell plays a key role in the flower’s pollination process. Here are more facts on the corpse flower, also known as the titan arum.
The corpse flower or the Amorphophallus titanium is a flowering plant found only in the rainforest around Sumatra, in Indonesia. More specifically, the rainforest flower can only be found in the West part of Sumatra, usually growing on limestone deposits. And here’s another fact: even though the flower’s smell is considered repulsive, there are many botanical gardens and collectors all over the world who seek the titan arum.
Apart from its putrid stench, the titan arum also impresses by its dimensions. According to the scientifical literature, the titan arum or the carrion flower can reach a height of 3 meters while the leaf-like structure can reach a height of 6 meters and 5 meters in diameter.
Because the inflorescent contains both male and female flower, the plant is unable to pollinate itself, requiring the presence of an outside pollinator. It would seem that the lucky contestant is the sweat bee.
Moreover, the titan arum is also a thermogenic plant. This means that the carrion flower uses heat from the atmosphere in order to volatilize its perfume. Basically, if it’s hotter outside than the flower’s malodor is much more pregnant.
The putrid flower blooms in Minnesota after 7 years of inactivity. The curators working at Minnesota’s botanical gardening are inviting the public to see the plant in action. Those who are interested to be offended by the putrid smell of the flower can visit the Botanical Garden from Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 3:30 pm.