A Stinking Rarity

Some plants bloom frequently.  Others bloom once a year.  What is slightly more unusual is a plant that only blooms once every 7-10 years.  The Titan Arum is one such plant and an example lives in the Amazon Spheres in Seattle.  Purely by coincidence, we happened to visit the Spheres when it was blooming.  We had actually missed the peak opening by a day and it was starting to close up again.  It had also had a hole cut into the side to allow pollination artificially. But this was a small price to pay for seeing something so unusual.

One feature the plant is known for is a smell of rotting flesh when it is blooming.  This is supposed to attract insects that then assist with pollination.  There was a bit of an odor but, to be honest, I wasn’t conscious of it being too bad.  Maybe there is a peak period of stinkiness and we missed it or maybe the story has been slightly overblown.  Either way, it was very lucky that we happened to be there during the blooming process and now we might have to wait a few years before it happens again.

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