Amorphophallus Titanium (Corpse Plant): The Largest Flower in the World Only Blooms Every 40 Years
A Friend Goes To See The Amorphophallus Titanium
A friend of mine visited a Botanical Garden in Estado Veracruz, Mexico recently. She went there to see the largest flower in the world that blooms only once every 30 to 40 years. The blossom can reach height of 7-12 feet and can weigh as much as 170 pounds! The bloom only lasts for three days. After that time the sheer weight of the flower will cause it to collapse and wither away. After the flower dies back, one single leaf will grow from the underground root. That leaf will grow on a stalk that branches into three sections at the top of the plant. When I saw the photos she sent me, I could not believe my eyes!
I Wanted To Learn More About The Largest Flower In The World
I have a great love for all flowers. The photos and information she gave me about this plant caused me to do some research on the Amorphophallus titanium. The more I read about it the more I wanted to know. I would like to share what I learned with my readers.
Several species of the plant grows in the rainforest of Sumatra, and is native to that region. It is now threatened or endangered. It is one of the most bizarre plants in the world. It produces no leaves and no stems or roots, but lives as a parasite on the Tetrastigma vine in the rain forest. Only the flower can be seen. The rest of the plant exists as filaments within its host. Another amazing fact is that the blossom is pollinated by flies who are attracted by the scent of the flower. This plant is also called the Corpse plant because the blossom has an odor of a corpse or rotting flesh. It is this odor that attracts the flies.
Flower At The Botanical Gardens, Estado Veracruz, Mexico
The Amorphophallus Titanium (CorpsePlant) Is One Of The Rarests Plants On Earth
It is one of the rarest plants on earth. People began to study the Amorphophallus titanium in 1929. They tried to cultivate it artificially, but because the plant takes 9 to 21 months before a bud flowers, their experiments failed. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London was successful in cultivating one of these plants and the plant first bloomed in 1889. It has since had at least 100 blooms since then.
New York Botanical Garden also was successful in cultivating the plant and their first documented flowering was in 1937.
Thankfully, the number of cultivated plants has increased in recent years. It is not uncommon now to have five or more bloomings in botanical gardens around the world in one year.
Because of the work done by plant scientists, this plant can now be cultivated and actually grown in containers as you can see by the photos. I think this is amazing when you consider that the plant is a parasite that normally grows on a vine in the rain forests. When I look at the size of the plant and the size of the container it can be grown in, I cannot believe that is possible.
I like to grow plants in containers. I am tempted to try to contact one of the Botanical Gardens to find out if I could get a specimen to try and grow. With my "green thumb", I'll bet I could do it.
Scientist Is Collecting Specimen Of Pollen
Scientists Will Preserve Specimens Of The Amorphophallus
The week of July 21, 2003, national news announced that the rare and beautiful Amorphophallus was about to bloom at the United States Botanical Garden in Washington, DC. People came from all over the United States and stood in line for hours to get a look at this flower. The U.S. Botanical Garden agreed that it would be in the best interest of science to preserve a specimen of the Amorphophallus before it fell into total ruin. They knew that after three days, the flower would collapse. The scientists were able to preserve specimens which will be kept at the United States National Herbarium. Because of the work of these plant scientists this plant will be live on and on for people to see and admire.
The Amorphophallus titanium Blooms At The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo became the proud owner of this rare plant in 1994. It was acquired from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. After 13 long years of waiting, the zoo horticulturists began to notice changes that indicated an impending bloom. How excited they must have all been!
The public was made aware of the impending event and by the day the plant bloomed, there were hundreds of people waiting in line to see the long awaited sight.
The U.C. Davis Botanical Conservatory
One of my readers informed me that the U.C. Davis Botanical Conservatory in Davis, California has an Amorphophallus titanium. Their plant is expected to bloom again in 2013. I just may have to plan a trip to Davis, California in 2013!They call their plant "Ted the Titan". Not only were they successful in growing their plant from seed, but it has bloomed repeatedly. That is so unusual.
They received a seed in 1995
First bloomed in 2003
Second bloom was in 2005
Third bloom was in 2007
Fourth bloom was in 2009
Fifth bloom was in 2011
A New Addition To My Bucket List
I would love to see this flower in bloom. I'm going to find out which Botanical Garden is expecting to have one in bloom, and when. If I possibly can, I will go there and see for myself this miracle of the plant world!
Don't miss watching the video of the Amorphophallus titanum which was made at the Brooklyn,New York Botanical Garden.