Amorphophallus titanum

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And now, The Huntington’s tumblr is proud to present…

TIMELAPSE GIFS OF THE BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photos every 20 min.
Left: Yesterday (8/23), 9:10 a.m. through 4:50 p.m.
Center: Yesterday, 5:10 p.m. through 12:50 a.m. today (8/24).
Right: Today, 1:10 a.m. through 8:50 a.m.

The Corpse Flower, though in the process of closing, is still GORGEOUS and people are flocking in to see it. SO COOL.

[9/3 update: The Corpse Flower closed over a week ago.]

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Hey so check it out: remember the Corpse Flower that bloomed at The Huntington back in August? This is what the fruit looks like now.

And earlier today, a couple of folks in our botanical division began extracting seeds. Pics soon. First, though, please take a moment to revel in the beauty of this moment of this crazy plant’s life cycle. It’s kind of amazing.

Look back through pics and gifs from earlier stages of its life here: http://huntingtonlibrary.tumblr.com/search/corpse+flower

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The titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) bloomed at the Copenhagen Botanical Garden this tuesday (top four pictures) and is now slowing closing thursday (bottom picture). The huge “bread loaf” structure (spadix) is for sending out a powerful smell of rotten flesh which attracts insects that pollinate the tiny flowers hidden at the bottom of the spadix, as seen in the third and fourth picture. It’s the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world (the largest branched is the talipot palm and the largest single flower is Rafflesia arnoldii) but this individual is “only” 1,60 m while the world record is 3,11 m. 

In another day or two the whole thing is going to wilt and collapse and the corm hidden in the soil is going to gather resources for the next bloom, hopefully in a few years, maybe 15, maybe never.

I was working in the greenhouse and let me tell you, pasty scandinavians are not made for +30 C temperatures with a humidity of +80%.  

drabble; steak dinner

drabble; pg; msr; season of secret sex; warning for an anachronism (trudy wasn’t born yet!); prompt – what does Mulder and Scully do on a date? 

A.N. born out of my love for how fucking weird Scully is. Also… I went on this date.

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“Amorphophallus titanum,” Mulder says brightly, lifting his arm over her head to push open the door to the little green house. He holds it while she steps inside, and brings his hand down to rest on the small of her back. “Otherwise known as the corpse plant.  Breaking the word down more literally, we are about to see a giant, misshapen peni–”

Scully freezes, causing him to bump into her. He chuckles quietly into her hair and cups her waist with both hands. “A carrion flower, Mulder,” she says, tamping down the excitement in her voice, making it flat and unimpressed. But he knows her too well, squeezes her hip and urges her onward.

“You got it,” he replies. Everywhere they look is filled with green; the place smells green, tastes green, feels green when tillandila reach out and tickle their skin, leaving them itchy and tense. Humid and hot like a day in the swamp, chlorophyllic and thick, the humans are the odd ones out with their animal cells and dead skin fur. All but themselves and cacti sway in a light breeze. The orchids are soft, their petals like fine velvet, and pitcher plants, bulbous and droopy, waiting to be fed, look very displeased for having to do so.

“They grow in the equatorial rainforests of southeast Asia,” he continues, pushing her down a dirt pathway. Knowing all of this she remains silent, finding a sweet satisfaction in letting him tither on. “They are notoriously difficult to cultivate, but thrive when cared for properly, beyond what could be expected out in the wild. The largest ever recorded grew to be around ten feet. Stacked and exotic and perfumed as she was, they named her Trudy.” They’re briefly sidetracked by a plant that curls in on itself as it brushes Mulder’s arm, and have a good time harassing all the others into a similar submission. “It was the official plant of Bronx in 1939, not to be replaced until 2000. They went with the day lily instead.”

“I can’t imagine why they would change it,” she says. They come face to face with the flower.

“What a beaut,” Mulder whistles, peering down at it from over Scully’s shoulder.

And it is a beautiful plant, the spadix climbing high over Scully’s head, just barely making acquaintance with Mulder’s full height. Smokey purples and deep dark reds, Scully decides it mostly looks the part. It reminds her of flesh before the rot, aged and tough. Still edible. The greens are yellowy caution colors, and the folds of it look dip-dyed in thick blood.

“You know how long it takes for one of these to bloom, Scully?” Mulder asks conversationally. There’s no real scent distinguishable from the distance they keep. It smells slightly sweet, actually, a common deception of all creatures.

“How long?”  Stepping closer, she stares into it’s gaping mouth, at all of its female parts. The stench hits her like a gust of hot wind. An evolutionary tactic to encourage pollination, it attracts bugs, flesh flies and carrion beetles, with its call of death in order to inspire life. She would compare it to cadavers picked up roadside after a nice long sun bath. Like spoiled, fatty meat and the soft cheeses her father loved so much.

“Seven years,” Mulder says, but all romanticism is killed by the look on his face. He gags and pulls away, clamping a hand over his mouth. “Oh thass bad. Thass awpul,” he groans, doubling over.

“It is,” Scully nods. She leans in again.

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The blooming of an Amorphophallus titanum (AKA corpse flower AKA titan arum) at The Huntington Library last week inspired me!

If you think humans jump through a lot of hoops just to reproduce, check out this plant. It waits 7-10 years, storing up starch in a giant tuber, just so it can bloom for a single day. Then it pretends to be a hunk of rotting meat to attract insect pollinators. Then, months later, it switches tactics to a produce a sweet fruit so birds will disperse it’s seeds.

If you have never smelled a titan arum but for some odd reason you would like to … you are in … luck? Scientists have identified the exact malodorous chemicals that come off these strange flowers to attract pollinators - so you can create the scent at home!*

*please, for your own sake, don’t try this at home.

XF Writing Challenge Prompt: Tension

Titan Arum

She’s quiet, his love; she deals with grief by compartmentalizing and internalizing. She buries it deep, and the things that grow from it are such somber, subtle flowers that although anyone who meets her senses the heaviness, the gravity of her, he is sure that he alone can identify all the flora by root and vine.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

CAN I EAT THAT CORM? it looks like it would be very tasty in a soup

totally! examples include onions, taro, and water chestnuts! 

also, tubers like that in the Amorphophallus family are popular as a food crop in parts of asia! you may recognize Amorphophallus konjac, who’s tubers are used in dietary supplements because of its small calorie count and filling nature (on top of common use in traditional dishes and meals, of course!):

and yes, it’s also possible to eat Amorphophallus titanum tubers (it’s not usually done because of the giant size, however…)

Be glad tumblr isn’t scratch & sniff (yet?)—one of our Amorphophallus titanum specimens (aka corpse flower, stinky plant, titan arum) is getting ready to bloom! We’ll be posting daily pics on our instagram and website, sending out updates via twitter, and rounding out the fun with some goodies here on tumblr. Best guess right now is that it’ll bloom sometime this coming week. It’s on view in the Conservatory now through the big stink.

caption: Image from volume 117 (January 1891) of Curtis’ Botanical Magazine, in The Huntington’s holdings. GIFed by The Huntington.

8/27 update: It bloomed, it smelled weird, it closed up. Be sure to check out the rest of our posts featuring all sorts of photos and timelapse gifs of the process. It was way cool.