Titan Arum, a rare giant flower typically found in the rain forests of Sumatra , has finally blossomed into a 10 feet flower in Paignton Zoo Environmental Park in Devon.
Planted in 2003, Titan Arum, which is green on the outside and bright red on the outside, measures 10 feet wide and 10 feet high. Its individual leaves can grow up to 5 meters. Because of its rotting flesh stench, it has been nicknamed “corpse flower”.
According to Wired.co.uk, the rotting flesh stench of the plant is used to attract insects such as carrion beetles to pollinate it.
Giles Palmer, Paignton’s curator of plants and gardens, said that the plant is becoming rare since people collect its seeds for profit. Moreover, the plant’s habitat has been prone to destruction making it an endangered specimen since 2003. In fact, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list of threatened plants has labeled it as vulnerable.
Speaking to Metro UK, Palmer described the stench of the rare plant: “Imagine you have the smell of rotting meat in a tin can and you open that can on the hottest, most humid day of the year.
“There are probably only 100 collections in the world where you can see this plant and it can go years between flowerings, so it’s not a common sight,” he added.
The Titan Arum must undergo a long process in order to flower and release its awful scent. Initially, it produces a tuber where a single leaf grows for up to 24 months before drying. It then undergoes a period of dormancy for up to 6 months before potentially producing a flower. Usually, it takes more than a decade to grow the plant to this stage.