Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Corpse Flower is Blooming @ The Phipps- Promising a Sick & Amazing Experience

Yes, this is an absolutely huge flower that smells like a rotting corpse and is pollinated by carcass eating insects. People travel thousands of miles and hike for hours to see this in its native Sumatra.

From the Wikipedia

"The titan arum's inflorescence can reach over 3 metres (10 ft) in height. Like the related cuckoo pint and calla lily, it consists of a fragrant spadix of flowers wrapped by aspathe, which looks like a large petal. In the case of the titan arum, the spathe is green on the outside and dark burgundy red on the inside, and deeply furrowed. The spadix is hollow and resembles a large loaf of French bread. Down inside the sheath of the spathe the spadix bears two rings of small flowers. The upper ring bears the male flowers, the lower ring is spangled with bright red-orange carpels. The "fragrance" of the titan arum resembles rotting meat, attracting carrion-eating beetles and flesh flies (family Sarcophagidae) that pollinate it. The inflorescence's deep red color and texture contribute to the illusion that the spathe is a piece of meat. During bloom, the tip of the spadix is approximately human body temperature, which helps the perfume volatilize; this heat is also believed to assist in the illusion that attracts carcass-eating insects."

Apparently cultivating it is pretty hard and has only been managed by a few hundred botanic gardens.

The Corpse Flower segment on Essential Pittsburgh

The Phipps

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