World's smelliest and largest flower blooms in Brazil

December 27, 2012
A titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum), also known as "corpse flower" or "corpse plant" due to its odor, is displayed at the Inhotim Art Institute and Botanical Garden in Belo Horizonte, in the Brazilian southern state of Minas Gerais, on December 26, 2012. Hundreds of visitors are flocking daily to the garden to watch the rare blooming of the world's smelliest and largest tropical flower.

Hundreds of visitors are flocking daily to a botanical garden in southeastern Brazil to watch the rare blooming of the Titan arum, the world's smelliest and largest tropical flower.

Also known as the "corpse flower" because of a smell likened to rotting flesh, it began blooming on Christmas Day and is already beginning to close, botanist Patricia Oliveira told AFP.

The flower "has a lifespan of 72 hours, during which its stink and meat-coloration attract pollinators: carrion flies and ," added Oliveira, who works at the Inhotim garden, about 445 kilometers (275 miles) from , housing the massive flower.

, also known by its scientific name, "Amorphophallus titanum," which means misshapen giant penis, is native to the of western Sumatra. It rarely flowers, is incredibly difficult to cultivate and takes six years to grow.

Thursday, this Brazilian specimen reached 167 centimeters (5 feet 3 inches) in height, but the species can grow up to over three meters (10 feet) tall.

This "is the second time it bloomed. The first time was in December 2010," Oliveira said.

When it flowers, the bloom has the same temperature as that of the human body, which helps spread its pungent smell.

The species was first described in 1878 by Italian natural scientist Odoardo Beccari. Ten years later, it bloomed in a London botanical garden and its next flowering occurred in 1926.

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5 / 5 (3) Dec 27, 2012
The same species of plant bloomed in Melbourne Australia on the same day
2.5 / 5 (4) Dec 27, 2012
I wish I had smellernet, I have no frame of reference in regards to the odor of a corpse.
5 / 5 (1) Dec 28, 2012
"Amorphophallus titanum," which means misshapen giant penis.

I wonder who chose that name.
1.5 / 5 (8) Dec 28, 2012
I'm smelling a Doug_Huffman haiku right about now.
1 / 5 (1) Dec 28, 2012
"Amorphophallus titanum," which means misshapen giant penis.

I wonder who chose that name.

One of the wonders of having the scientific name in a classical language like Latin or Greek.
You can cook up names that sound perfectly scientific to someone who doesn't know latin/greek and yet are completely bonkers when you translate them.
not rated yet Dec 28, 2012
To nit-pick: Amorphophallus has neither the largest inflorescence ( Puya raimondii is much larger ), nor the smallest flowers ( Wolfia is smaller ).
5 / 5 (1) Dec 28, 2012
Another plant flowering in Melbourne Australia, 26 Dec 2012:

3.3 / 5 (14) Dec 28, 2012
No this is the worlds largest and smelliest flower

-which also by the way smells like corpses.

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