The legendary ‘corpse flower’ or titan arum, the largest unstemmed inflorescence flower in the world, is about to bloom in UNCC’s botanical gardens.
The titan arum typically requires between 7–10 years of growth before it will bloom for the first time, and the massive bloom only usually lasts 12-24 hours before wilting.
Here’s a time-lapse video of its development and bloom;
The plant is native of the jungles of Sumatra, where it can produce massive flower structures in excess of 10 feet in height. When cultivated, the structures typically range between 5-8 feet tall.
The plant is nicknamed the ‘corpse flower’ because of it’s extremely strong and extremely unpleasant scent. The chemicals released by the spadix include dimethyl trisulfide (limburger cheese), trimethylamine (rotting fish), isovaleric acid (sweaty socks), benzyl alcohol (sweet floral scent), phenol (like Chloraseptic), and indole (like human feces). The plant uses all of these foul scents to attract bugs and beetles to help it pollinate.
UNCC’s botanical gardens saw their first corpse flower bloom back in 2007, when over 4,000 people lined up to watch ‘Bella’ bloom. The plant bloomed once more in 2010 before dying died. Their second blooming corpse flower, named Odie, opened for the first time in 2015.
Here is what Odie’s bloom looked like in all its glory;