Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Titan Arum: June 2005 Blooming
This awful, stinking, "Corpse Flower", Titan Arum is set to begin blooming at my alma mater, and is on pace to set a world's record.
The current world record, set in 2003 at the Bonn Botanic Garden in Germany, stands just an inch short of nine feet.

Although the big flowers are noted for being rare and, supposedly, difficult to cultivate, this latest blossom is the fourth corpse flower to bloom at UW-Madison in the past five years. To date, an estimated 64 cultivated titan arum blossoms have occurred since 1889 when the first such bloom caused a sensation at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, England.

The fully open inflorescence emits a repulsive, "rotting-fish-with-burnt-sugar" scent. The odor, strongest at night, is to attract pollinators, which in Titan's Sumatran home are mainly carrion beetles and flesh flies. Most fly- and beetle-pollinated "carrion" flowers are similarly colored and perfumed. There have been less than 17 successfull bloomings in the US.

Photos by Jeff Miller, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin.
posted by Broadsheet @ 4:58 PM  
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