When the flowers are ready for pollination, the spadix heats up and emits a nauseating smell. This stench is so bad that the Indonesians call the plant ‘the corpse flower’. The inflorescence rises from a tuber, a swollen underground stem modified to store food for the plant. This tuber, more or less spherical in shape and weighing 70 kg or more, is the largest such structure known in the plant kingdom.
The titan arum of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens flowered at Christmas this year and attracted thousands of people who queued for hours in order to see this amazing flower. Amorphophallus titanum is restricted to Sumatra in the Indonesian archipelago. Such is the unpredictable nature of the plant that we cannot tell whether it will be months, years or even decades before we next see a titan arum flower in the Gardens.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Signs, Signs meme.