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: www.laconiaschools.org/corpseflower
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.)