Skip to comments.Stinky Flower Sets New Height Record
Posted on 03/15/2004 8:04:15 PM PST by martin_fierro
Stinky Flower Sets New Height Record
Mon Mar 15, 6:55 PM ET
JAKARTA, Indonesia - A rare flower that smells like rotting flesh and grows nearly 9.8 feet tall has bloomed in Indonesia, setting a new record for the species' height, officials said Saturday.
The Amorphophallus titanum known locally as a "carcass flower" for the stench its bulbs emit upon opening blossomed Thursday at the Cibodas Botanical Garden in Bogor.
The flower, one of the largest and smelliest in the world, comes from the rain forests of Sumatra island, and typically grows to more than 9 feet tall.
Officials at the garden on the southern outskirts of the capital Jakarta claimed this particular flower reached a height of 9.5 feet a new record as the tallest Amorphophallus titanum.
"This is the biggest flower I've ever seen," said Asih Wulandari, a spokeswoman for the botanical garden. "It's a giant flower, but no one likes the smell. It reminds you of a dead animal."
According to the Environmental Literacy Council, the previous record of 9 feet was recorded in May 2003 at the University of Bonn's botanical garden.
The flower blooms about every three years, but rarely in cultivation. For eight hours it emits a nauseating odor to attract pollinating, carrion-eating beetles.
The plant starts life as a small tuber, then shoots out a single, beige tapered column that grows up to six inches a day. It's surrounded by a magenta, cup-like petal which looks like a giant turnip-colored flower.
The plant draws huge crowds in the United States anytime it blossoms. It has bloomed about 15 times since its first U.S. display in New York in 1937, including last year at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.
I wanted one of these at my wedding, but Mrs. Fierro wouldn't have it.
Must be some darn big beetles.
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