corpse flower

It may look beautiful but it certainly doesn’t smell it. Aptly named, the “corpse flower” grows in the rain forests of Sumatra, Indonesia, and releases a horrendous odour. The odour attracts insects which feed on deceased animals and lay their eggs in rotting meat. The plant requires 7-10 years of growth before eventually blooming for the first time. The odour is said to smell like a combination of limburger cheese, rotting fish, sweaty socks, human faeces, and a sweet floral scent.

Necrobotany is such a cool idea like:

  • druidic nature magic + necromancy
  • undead skeletons being supported by plant fibers to make up for missing muscles and ligaments so they can run instead of shamble
  • turning said skeletons into multi limbed monstrosities with vine arms
  • or piecing together bones and limbs with vines to make fleshier monsters
  • adding thorns or huge venus fly traps or poison onto minions
  • undead exploding into petals and leaves like a smokescreen, or infecting opponents with disease from pollen
  • suffocating opponents from the stench of rotten minions and corpse flowers
bbc.com
Lots of corpse flowers bloomed in 2016 and nobody knows why
The corpse flower takes ten years to build up enough energy to bloom, but mysteriously, dozens of them bloomed within weeks of each other in 2016
By Ceri Perkins

I’ve admired this carnivorous plant for years (from a distance, tehe!) I’m fascinated that a plant “imitates” the smell of rotting flesh in order to attract and consume insects. Such a clever flower! 

michael scofield be like: i will use this single stale cheetoh to feed the dog that roams outside the east wall of the prison at precisely 4:36 pm on the third wednesday before the 5th full moon of a year a corpse flower blooms after which the dog will take a shit which will be stepped on by the prison guard’s cousin’s financial advisor, causing him to be late for work, which makes him throw his recycling in the garbage by mistake, which will then be transported on a garbage truck traveling at 22 miles per hour driven by a man whose father just landed in yemen yesterday and dropped a napkin on the floor which was carried on the wind through our window and landed in my lap exactly 1.7 seconds ago which i am now folding into a lockpick so we can escape

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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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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.

Botany is fun

My Ceropegia woodii or chain of hearts blooms often, much to my appreciation! They belong to my favorite flowering plant family, Apocynaceae, which also contains corpse flower or carrion flowers in the Stapelia genus. Also called a corpse flower but in a different family is Amorphophallus titanum, Aracae (the Greek etymology of which is giant misshapen phallus). The huge spathe and spadix inflorescence of A. titanum  smells like- you guessed it- rotting meat, attracting flies and carrion beetles as pollinators. For the curious, I detect no smells from my friend C. woodii.