For some strange reason or other, people seem to be drawn to stinky things! Whenever the giant corpse flower or titan arum blooms and releases its foul scent, the event draws massive crowds around the world! Whether it was in Switzerland last year, Canada a few months ago or Belgian earlier in July, people can’t seem to get enough of the corpse flower.
Not to be left out on the excitement, Americans had their chance to view the giant stinky flower in person recently. On Sunday July 21, 2013, the 8 ft (2.4 m) titan arum bloomed at the US Botanic Garden in Washington, DC. Thousands plant enthusiasts and the curious came to get a whiff of the infamous rotting corpse odour it produces when the plant is in full bloom. The plant was at its stinkiest early Monday morning.
Staff extended their visiting hours so that they can accommodate as many people as they can for this rare and exciting event. As the blooming cycle is unpredictable and sporadic, there’s no telling when the flower will bloom. The titan arum can go through decades before it blooms! Plus, the plant typically collapses within a few days. The corpse flower at the US Botanic Garden is close to 10 years old and this is the first time it has flowered.
The titan arum is an exotic plant native to the rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. As such, the ideal conditions for the plant to bloom is a hot and humid climate. The foul odour is used to attract pollinating beetles.
- Corpse Flower in Full Bloom in Edmonton, AB (funflowerfacts.com)
- Foul Smelling Flowers (funflowerfacts.com)
- World’s Biggest Flower Blooms in Switzerland in 2012 (growerdirect.com)
- Guinness World Records Flower Facts (funflowerfacts.com)