Shannon Stacey

The Corpse Flower

This morning I got a call from the husband—the Corpse Flower was blooming. So, off the three kids and I go (2 sons and a sister).

What is the Corpse Flower?

Amorphophallus titanum (Titan Arum, or “Corpse Flower”)

This was only the 15th recorded bloom in the US, and the first ever in NH. As it neared blooming, it grew so fast you could actually visually track the growth if you sat and watched it. (It grew 76 inches in one day short of a month) And it only stays open for 2 days.

It’s called the Corpse Flower because in its native Sumatra, it’s chief pollinator is thought to be the carrion beetle. To attract them, it emits the smell of decaying flesh. (It attracted turkey vultures…I didn’t even know we had those.)

If you have any interest in seeing it’s phenomenal growth, the local High School has a page dedicated to photos:

An interesting tidbit: The first titan arum to bloom in cultivation was at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London, in 1889—during the Victorian era. Young ladies were not permitted to view it because of the phallic appearance.

(My boys giggled when I explained “phallic appearance” means “it looks like a pee-pee”)

It was a wonderful experience, even with the smell of decaying flesh.

(I was just asked if that’s me in the picture. Despite the Dunkin Donuts cup, no it’s not. I only drink iced coffee. *g* I left her in for a height reference point.)

4 comments to “The Corpse Flower”

  1. Jean
      · August 22nd, 2006 at 9:37 pm · Link

    You have to know you’re going to have lots of giggling and every referrence to “phallic appearance” known to man over the next couple weeks now. And the neighbor kids will start using the term, too, so be prepared for some exasperated parents to contact you. ‘Cause, you know, it just sounds so naughty! :devil:

  2. Jaci Burton
      · August 22nd, 2006 at 9:56 pm · Link

    That is just the coolest thing ever. Even without the ‘phallic’ reference.

    How great that you got to see it. :thumb:

  3. Charli
      · August 23rd, 2006 at 7:44 am · Link

    Wow. Cool! :coffee:

  4. Charlie
      · August 23rd, 2006 at 1:44 pm · Link

    Wow, really fantastic deal. Now when I have a free moment I’m going to have to research this flower.

  • Get my latest news straight to your inbox!

    I'll only be sending newsletters when I have news to share, and I'll never share your information. You'll receive an email asking you confirm your subscription (so please check your spam box if you don't receive that). You can unsubscribe at anytime.


  • Affiliation

    Shannon Stacey is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of

    If you purchase a book listed on the site from, she’ll earn a small commission. Thank you!