Wednesday

Giant Flower to Giant Leaf

Some people might know of the world's smelliest flower, Amorphophallus titanum, commonly called the corpse flower. It hails from the rainforests of Sumatra. The question is, why does this flower smell so much? Well, it's not pollinated by cute birds or beautiful butterflies but by carcase eating insects. The flower's smell wafts across the forests with the aid of heat- the odor producing part is at human body temperature which helps volatilize the scented oils.
The plant begins life as a seed which becomes a fully adult plant in 3 to 10 years. The seed does not, however, develop into a tree or bush but rather a single huge leaf that is easily mistaken for a tree. 12 to 18 months later this leaf dies back to a bulb which can weigh up to 200 pounds. This bulb, or corm, can return to the vegetative stage or produce a the notorious flower. The flower fully opens in about 2 weeks by which time it will hopefully have produced fruit which restart the process.
The
Amorphophallus titanum does not flower frequently in cultivation and only slight more frequently in the wild. The flower, from 1939 to 2000, was the official flower of Bronx, New York.

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