1. MadScientist says

    Isn’t it also one of the stinkiest flowers on the planet? Unless of course that’s a different species from the “giant phallus”.

  2. Chuck VA says

    Several years ago for my birthday I dragged my wife to the US Botanical Gardens to see the Smithsonian’s specimen of this plant in bloom.
    Fascinating and it was quite rank.
    Quite a crowd came out to see it. We had to wait on line about 1/2 hour.

  3. Holytape says

    A flower that smells like rotting meat, and attracts flies — there’s a joke in there about the flower of choice for Mother’s-in-Law day, but I’ll be damned if I can find it.
    Noah’s ark

  4. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    The titan arum (with the titillating name Amorphophallus titanum) actually has the worlds largest inflorescence, or group of flowers. The worlds largest flower belongs to Rafflesia arnoldii which also smells of rotting meat, and like Hydnora is a holoparasite.
  5. dude070012 says

    You said in Chico that you get more money blogging than your tenure profesorship. So you should find the money for it?

  6. Thanny says

    There are several of these in the US, and at least one had a web cam on it 24/7 watching for the bloom.

    The common name is “corpse flower”, on account of the stench.

  7. chuckgoecke says

    If one wants to enjoy the carrion like scent, a number of easy to grow succulents have big pretty flowers that have the same or similar scent, they are members of the Stapelia genus or related members of the milkweed family. The common name for the group are starfish flowers, and they are spectacular, and mostly easy to grow.

  8. JohnnieCanuck says

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I suspect the Trophy Wife™ wouldn’t allow one of these in the house, let alone attempt to carry it around on her shoulder.

  9. says

    I’ve got a row of stapelias on my windowsill, and one of them usually blooms annually. It attracts houseflies, who walk around on the hairy petals buzzing loudly and ewvidently laying eggs

    I think I’ll let that typo stand, because I realized they were laying eggs when I noticed the little teeny maggots on the windowsill. After that, I’ve been taking the plant outside to visit Joe’s pots of carnivores; I figure it’s a natural relationship that just doesn’t happen to happen in nature.

    Like some other arums—skunk cabbages, e.g.—A. titanum also generates heat, which accelerates the scent distribution. Some North American skunk cabbages melt the snow over their flowers.

    And guess what they smell like.

    There’ve been several of these in bloom in greenhouses around here over the past few years. I think UC Davis had on of the first. They stationed grad students to watch theirs constantly. Nightshift slept in a hammock, wearing a gas mask. Or so they told me.

    If I had a hothouse I’d definitely have one of these. All else aside, they’re fuckin .

    Ron Sullivan

  10. says

    …Fuckin gorgeous, that was, until I flipped the pointy bracket and lost the last word.

    Rev. BDC, I’m gunnin for your title.

    Ron Sullivan

  11. Gary says

    “A BBC nature show with David Attenborough” The best thing on television, and it’s been that way for decades. Other shows come and go, but that’s a constant. they never fail to teach and entertain.

  12. Butch Pansy says

    Oh, the joys of fly-pollinated plants! Hoodia gordonia is a stapeliad with flowers like pink dish antennae and the aroma of dog shit: big, fresh, carnivorous-dog, shit. Another warm and steamy perfume is that of the nasty pericarp of Gingko biloba; it’ll also have you checking your shoes when its fruits are splatting on the sidewalk in the fall. I don’t know what sort of creature it’s inviting to spread its seeds, something with a more “developed” palate, I suppose. Something that likes durian, perhaps.

  13. Butch Pansy says

    Too many comments in too short a time? How am I to correct the mis-naming of the Hoodia! It’s H. gordonii, of course.

  14. paulnaveau says

    Very cool,

    i cannot help but feel happy that on the blog i read daily (99.9% lurking), and referred to several times in the most active period of my own blog,
    the same fragment is posted that i’ve once posted too,
    (sorry guys, not having a great day, being able to identify with a role model helps :-))

    About my own attempt at seeing this flower blossom in our Belgian National Plant garden,
    unfortunately i missed it with just a few days

    they had 2 flowers coming out close together, unfortunately missed that one too (FAIL!)

    and obviously David Attenborough rules supreme in this genre of movies!!

  15. Noir The Sable says

    Good luck trying to walk around with that pinned to your chest or wrapped around your wrist.

  16. Dr. Matt says

    Titan Arums open up in the late afternoon, and reach their peak in the middle of the night. At around 1:00 AM, I have actually seen a faint trail of vapor coming off of the tip of the spadix (the spiky part), sort of like cartoon stink lines.

  17. Nickp says

    I’ve got one of it’s smaller relatives, Amorphophallus konjac, in bloom right now. The flower is a mere 4 feet tall and smells like an attractive mix of carrion and sewage.

    A. konjac is very easy to grow: large tubs in summer, store the corm dry on a shelf in winter. They usually bloom in Spring, but one stored on a high shelf in the laundry room started sprouting early this year. My wife noticed it when the inflorescence had hit the ceiling and turned 90 degrees.

    wikipedia article here:

  18. Alan B says

    There was a programme on English TV a decade or two ago (I can’t track it) where a woman had a plant like one of these that was growing in her garden (again, it may have been abroad).

    Not one of these. No mention of smell but the large flower stem got hot in the evening and she had to stay out all night rubbing it to get the pollen spread (or something). She was getting rather excited so the reason got a bit confused.

  19. Merridol says

    We had a Stapelia in the lab for a while, it seemed to mimic the anus of a dead dog in color patterns and smell. I didn’t elaborate on that particular observation, though, since it’s a rule in our lab: if you say it smells like something, you bring in the positive control!

  20. Snoof says

    Good luck trying to walk around with that pinned to your chest or wrapped around your wrist.

    You clearly wear it as an elaborate headdress or hat.