Giant, Smelly 'Corpse Flower' Blooms in Brazil
Titan arum blooms rarely and only briefly—and smells like rotting flesh
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2012 11:40 AM CST
Visitors look at a blooming titan arum at Djuanda Botanical Garden in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. Another is now blooming Brazil.   (AP Photo/Kusumadireza)

(Newser) – Call them gangrene thumbs. Hundreds of flower lovers are flocking to Inhotim garden, 275 miles from Rio de Janeiro, to catch a glimpse—and a whiff— of the massive and rare titan arum, aka, the "corpse flower," reports AFP. Blooming for just three days, the corpse flower smells like rotting flesh, in order to attract its choice pollinators, carrion flies and beetles.

The titan arum's full scientific name, Amorphophallus titanum, actually means misshapen giant penis. The one blooming now in Brazil is 5-foot-3, but the plant can grow up to 10 feet tall. The species is native to western Sumatra and is thought to be the world's largest and smelliest tropical flower. You can also read about a corpse flower that bloomed at Western Illinois University a couple of years ago.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
1-Pops
Dec 31, 2012 8:55 PM CST
Also for more information about the "Corpse Flower", you can also contact the Plant Science Dept. at Cornell University, as Cornell had one in bloom just last year. View more photos, as well as thermal images, sent analysis, and a time-lapse video at: periodicals.cals.cornell.edu/plant http://issuu.com/cornellcals/docs/periodicals-spring-2012
right2dave
Dec 29, 2012 11:42 AM CST
It is often called the John Holmes.
schmidtkoff
Dec 28, 2012 3:50 PM CST
they are quite stunning. i like aroids. plant delights nursery and botanic gardens in NC has A. titanum along with other cool aroids if anyone wants to purchase one. not an aroid but i have a huge bowl of Stapelia accuminata, which blooms with huge star-like hairy flowers called carrion flowers that smell like rotted meat. attracts the blow flies. hey i just like unusual plants. so many plants, so little time.