Midnight on April 20th, 2015 in Winter Park, FL an amorphophallus titanum bloomed for only a few hours.
All while letting off an odor that purposefully smells like rotting flesh.
How Bad Does it Smell?
Alan J. Chryst is the greenhouse manager at Rollins College. He explains that the plant smells bad to draw pollinating animals that are attracted to dead things. When the flower bloomed at midnight, it gave off a rank smell for as many as 4 hours.
The intense smell works! When the plant blooms in the wild, flesh flies and carrion-beetles make their way to the flower in droves.
It’s Giant—But Rare!
These foul smelling plants only flower and bloom once every 7 years or more. This one took 11 years.
These foul smelling plants only flower and bloom once every 7 years or more! This particular one took 11 years after Mr. Chryst acquired the seeds in 2004. He spent eleven years growing and maintaining this plant to see it bloom only once.
5 FEET, 7 INCHES TALL
Chryst’s flower bloomed a giant 5 feet and 7 inches tall and spread to a hefty 3 feet across. While that may sound big, it’s actually on the smaller side as the gardener believes that the next flower he’s growing could be even bigger.
Stay tuned! This isn’t the only amorphophallus titanum seedling Rollins has been growing.
Before they turn into a giant flower, the plant looks like an average leafy tree. Chryst currently has two. One is just reaching two feet tall, but another is already about eight feet tall! He believes it could bloom as early as next year.
Seeing another so soon would be surprising. Since the plant’s cultivation in 1889, roughly only 100 successful blooms have been recorded.
Plus, Chryst believes this flower could produce as many as 200 seeds from its pollination.
Visit http://www.rollins.edu/greenhouse/ if you want to read more.