Tital Arum, the Corpse flower

Tital Arum, the Corpse flower

Meet the Tital Arum, which has the largest inflorescence in the world! Just like Rafflesia, it has an odor or a rotting corpse and hence the name – Corpse flower.  

The plant’s inflorescence reaches to over 10 ft in height and consists of a fragrant spadix/group of flowers wrapped by a large petal.  The “fragrance” of the titan arum resembles rotting meat, attracting carrion-eating beetles and flesh flies (family Sarcophagidae) that pollinate it. The inflorescence’s deep red color and texture contribute to the illusion that the spathe is a piece of meat. During bloom, the tip of the spadix is approximately human body temperature, which helps the perfume volatilize; this heat is also believed to assist in the illusion that attracts carcass-eating insects. Smart way to invite helpers, right?

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Image credit: Sailing moose