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Corpse Flower in Belgium

Submitted by on July 11, 2013 – 7:11 pmNo Comment
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By Thomas Steinmetz
Special to Road Trips for Gardeners

The Titan Arum, commonly known as corpse flower, is the world’s largest flower that has a complicated arrangement of branches. It can easily be distinguished among other plants because of its odor which reminds visitors of a corpse. Though it naturally but rarely blooms in rainforests and limestone hills, this flower is often found in botanic gardens and private collectors’ gardens.

The National Botanic Garden in Belgium has a new attraction which invites locals and tourists despite its reputation of being the smelliest flower in the world. It literally smells like where it got its name —- corpse flower.

The National Botanic Garden in Meise is one of the world’s largest botanical gardens famous for its extensive collection of plants of about 18,000 plant species. The corpse flower was said to have bloomed only thrice since it was planted in the garden in 2008.

The corpse flower stands at 8-feet now and may weigh up to 200 pounds but botanists expect it to have died yesterday (July 10, 2013). Therefore, visitors may see it for only two or three days before it develops a fruit and dies on its own.

While the scent of this flower is not that flattering for humans, insects and other organisms were attracted to it. Some people described the scent as similar to rotten eggs, fish, meat, and cheese. The weird scent is caused by the plant’s sulfur compounds.

Those who had witnessed its bloom may consider the experience a once-in-a-lifetime treat as this flower rarely do so with only 150 recorded blooming since its discovery in Sumatra, Indonesia, by an Italian botanist named Dr. Odoardo Beccari in 1878.

The corpse flower is considered an endangered plant because of its rare blooming cycles plus human activities that affect its natural habitat. There were no numbers accounted which can tell how many of this flower is still left in the world.

(Photo courtesy of eTurbo News)

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