What’s stinking? Oh the world’s smelliest flower!

April 24th, 2011 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 24 (IANS) The Titan Arum plant, nicknamed the Corpse flower because of its pungent smell of rotting flesh, is in full bloom after 75 years at the University of Basel in Switzerland. The flower was expected to remain open until Easter Sunday.

The eight foot plant, indigenous to Indonesia’s rainforests, has the largest unbranched shoot in the world. On average, they bloom once in a decade, according to the Daily Mail.

Titan Arum is coveted by collectors and plant enthusiasts around the world because of its strange blooming patterns.

Twelve of them are housed at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the Princess of Wales Conservatory among hundreds of other tropical plants, according to the Mail.

When the plants are ready to pollinate, the stem heats up to release a pungent smell, which lasts for about three days.

The largest Arum at Kew gardens weighs 200 pounds and grows at a staggering rate of a quarter of an inch an hour.

It guzzles liquid fertiliser and potassium each week to keep up its strength while bedded in roomy surroundings.

Sir David Attenborough, naturalist and a natural history film-maker, who invented the name Titan Arum, was the first to capture it flowering on film for his BBC TV series “The Private Life of Plants”.

He dropped the plant’s original name - Amorphophallus - perhaps because of the reference to male genitalia, the Mail said.

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