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Amorphophallus titanum

 

That's a wrap on the summer of #StinkyAtTheH!

As the blooms have closed, two of the three will go back to the nursery for some much needed rest. The third bloom, "Stank", will be on view for the next few months as it begins to fruit. With any luck, the fruit will yield seeds for a new generation of #CorpseFlowers. Check out Instagram to relive the experience of #StinkyAtTheH!

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On August 22, in the absence of carrion beetles, botanist John Trager, did the honors and pollinated "Stank" using pollen harvested from the other blooms. "Stank" will be on view in the Conservatory for the next few months.

 

The #TitanTriplets back on August 17 when "Stink" was first blooming

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Amorphophallus titanum   •   the bloom   •    lifecycle   •    research/conservation   •   faqs
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About the Amorphophallus titanum or “Corpse Flower”

Native to the equatorial rain forests of Sumatra, the Amorphophallus titanum, or Titan Arum, can reach more than 6 feet in height when it blooms, opening to a diameter of 3–4 feet. But the plant is perhaps most famous—or infamous—for its exceptionally foul odor, giving it the nickname, Corpse Flower. In its natural environment, the Corpse Flower is pollinated by sweat bees. It attracts those insects by sending off a foul odor like rotting meat that can travel long distances in the Corpse Flower’s native tropical forests, ensuring insects can pick up the scent in time to pollinate the flowers during their short bloom time.

 

Why all the excitement?

A Corpse Flower in bloom is as rare as it is spectacular. A plant can go many years without flowering, and when it does the bloom lasts only one or two days. Some people travel around the world hoping to see it at the moment it flowers. For botanists and the public, being “in the right place at the right time” to see one of these magnificent plants in bloom can be a once-in-a-lifetime treat.  

 

Previous Blooms

The most recent bloom was on Aug. 23, 2014. It was only the fifth time a Corpse Flower has bloomed at The Huntington. The plant's towering inflorescence reached a height of 5 ft. 6 inches before it opened and released its foul-smelling odor, a signal to attract pollinating insects. The smell attracted a good number of visitors, too. View time-lapse images of the Corpse Flower's 2014 bloom on Tumblr. Previous blooms occurred in 2010, 2009, 2002, and the first in 1999. To read about their family history, head over to Verso: A Stinky Family Tree

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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