Skip to comments.Giant "corpse flower" raises a stink in Sydney
Posted on 10/07/2004 1:51:27 PM PDT by martin_fierro
Giant "corpse flower" raises a stink in Sydney
SYDNEY (AFP) - Hundreds of people queued up in Australia's largest city to get a glimpse and a whiff of a blooming "corpse flower", the world's largest and arguably smelliest flower.
The Titan Arum's smell is described as something like rotting flesh or fish gone bad, hence its nickname. Its blooms, which can have a diameter of as much as four feet (1.33 metres), release a pungent stench to attract insects.
It has been drawing huge crowds to Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens since it reached full bloom overnight. It is only the second time the crimson, frilly-edged plant -- a native of neighbouring Indonesia -- has flowered in Australia.
"We've never had one flower in Sydney before so there is unprecedented interest from tourists as well as locals," said a spokeswoman for the Royal Botanic Gardens Trust.
"We've got people queuing for up to half an hour waiting to get in to see it."
The plant, whose scientific name is Amorphophallus titanum, blooms only two or three times during a 40-year lifespan. The current one is expected to survive another two or three days.
"The stalk will bend over and it just dehydrates," the spokeswoman said.
First seen by Europeans in Sumatra island in 1878, the plant flowers only infrequently in the wild and even more rarely when domesticated.
It first flowered in culture at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, Britain. Other recent flowerings have been at the University of California and the United States Botanic Garden in Washington DC.
Jeez, I think I got pistil envy!
That's amazing. I'd go see it!
This has been a great couple of weeks for nature lovers - volcanoes, killer chimps, and now THIS! WooHOO!
After Google searching I found there's a few of those stinkers here in the US as well. The one at the University of Connecticut's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Conservatory bloomed this summer and the one in the National Mall's US Botanical Garden bloomed last year. The size record is held by the one in Bonn, Germany, whose bloom reached 9ft tall.
Yeah, and the Cassini Saturn mission.
'Course, National Geographic isn't covering any of it. They're too busy warning us about global warming.
The John Holmes of flowers!
Eh, you're pistil-whipped.
You braggart! ; )
Just like in that Simpson episode....
I saw the one (named Ted) at University of California, Davis bloom last year. There was quite a long line to see it. Unfortunately, during the viewing hours, its aroma had not yet fully developed.
That's why I cancelled them last month, after 31 years.
In light of recent events, perhaps it should be renamed the "Australian Labour Party Blossom" Not quite dead, but still stinks..
"The End Of Cheap Oil"?
"The Heavy Cost of Fat"?
I've been meaning to reproduce NG's confession from a recent article that they were "duped" by a photographer's staged use of elephant tusks rented from a museum to prove poaching.
The Global Warming issue, but those other two had me in a canceling mood already.
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