Titan Arum, or Corpse Flower, Bloomed for First Time at Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s rare and never-before-seen Amorphophallus titanum, commonly known as Titan Arum or Corpse Flower, bloomed for the first time in mid-July of 2015. When in full bloom, the Garden’s specimen reached 4′ tall and had a strong odor of what has been described as rotting flesh among other unpleasant smells.
The Titan Arum produces one of the largest flower structures (up to 10 feet in height) once every three to ten years and emits one of the most pungent odors of all plants when the flowers are ready for pollination. We say “flower structure” or “inflorescence” because the structure actually consists of the spathe (wrapped around the spadix that has a flower-like appearance when it opens) and the spadix that is the flower-bearing spike that emerges from the spathe. Rows of flowers can actually be found at the base of the spadix.
The plant is native to the rainforests of Sumatra, a large Indonesian island, therefore the Garden’s budding plant was on display in the Orchid Conservatory among an array of tropical plants. The Garden acquired this particular plant from Carolina Orchids early in 2012 and the specimen is 17 years old.