05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Corpse Flower By Any Other Name...

By Robin Weaver
You’d think a plant with the nickname, “corpse flower,” would be right up a mystery writer’s alley, but if that writer has a sensitive proboscis, you’d be wrong. The plant stinks!
Despite the smell—or maybe because of it—folks stood in line at the University of North Carolina--Charlotte to get a glimpse (and a sniff) of Odie—a rare and infamous Amorphophallus titanum, or Titan Arum for short. This corpse flower takes at least seven years to produce a flower, and if the plant likes the growing conditions, it might bloom every three to five years.
When the plant does bloom, it produces one of the largest blossoms in the world, a deep purple flower with a green "horn" that can grow to over nine feet. The plant at UNC Charlotte is a relative dwarf at a mere 5’ 4” tall (here's where I wish I had a font for sarcasm). Wild Titan Arum only bloom three to six times during a forty-year lifespan. Cultivated corpse flowers usually do not live as long
If the plant is going to reproduce, pollination must occur during the first twelve hours of the bloom opening although the flower will remain for a couple of days with a fainter smell. Corpse flowers need pollen from a second plant to reproduce, so local botanist were very excited when a another flower bloomed at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens—not far from UNC Charlotte. Yes, pollen was collected and carried to the plant. I’m not sure if the Frankenstein efforts in the floral community flourished.  All I know is Corpse Flower Female + Corpse Flower Male equate to an offspring I wouldn't babysit.

Please! Give me an orchid any day!


Judith Ashley said...

Fascinating post! I've never heard of the Titan Arum before. Were you one of the people standing in line to see and smell it?

While I might prefer an orchid to the Titan Arum, I'm sure the orchid would prefer not to live with me. While I have a fairly green thumb and a house full of plants, my numerous attempts to keep orchids alive in my house have always failed.

Tracy said...

Very interesting and I'll take your word on the smell rather than do it myself. I'll stick to the orchid my parents gave me in celebration of my Golden Heart win -- in fits on the kitchen counter and doesn't stink.

Tracy said...
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Linda Lovely said...

I don't think I'll be adding a corpse flower to my garden any time soon. But enjoyed reading about it!

Vonda Lee said...

Love it, like always know how to write.

Ann Chaney said...

Great post and so very 'you'! Isn't this the plant that Dennis the Menace ruined in Mr. Wilson's yard in the movie version of the blond headed terror? I think the flower is rather pretty in an Addams Family way.

Sarah Raplee said...

I love the title of your post! Enjoyed the info as well! Hmmm...Could a villain be written who hides a corpse in his greenhouse where his corpse flower is in bloom? Wa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Sounds like a plan.

Robyn Echols said...

Sounds like a plant I'll take a pass on visiting. Thanks for sharing.

Robyn Echols w/a Zina Abbott