Endangered smelly flower in Warsaw draws large crowds
The endangered Sumatran Titan’s arum, a foul-smelling giant flower also known as the corpse flower, spread in a rare short bloom in a Warsaw botanical garden, drawing crowds that have waited hours to see her.
The extraordinary flower, which gives off a cadaverous odor to attract pollinating insects that feed on flesh, bloomed on Sunday. It was already withering early Monday. Those who wish to avoid the smell and the crowds can watch it live from the University of Warsaw Botanical Gardens.
Hundreds, if not thousands, lined up late into the night on Sunday and Monday morning at the conservatory just so they could walk past the flower and take a photo.
Also known as Amorphophallus titanum, the flowering plant has the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, growing up to 3 meters (10 feet) tall. Its compound flower consists of a large hollow spadix with small flowers and a spathe, with a large furrowed petal green on the outside and deep burgundy red on the inside. Its flowering is rare and unpredictable.
The plant only grows wild in the humid tropical forests of Sumatra, but is threatened there due to deforestation. The culture in the botanical gardens, where they are a great attraction for visitors, has contributed to its preservation. Its first known flowering outside Sumatra dates back to 1889 in the Royal London Botanic Gardens in Kew.
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