Monday, January 20, 2020

7 Stinkiest Flowers on Earth

Titan Arum, Nature Greenhouse
Titan Arum
 When we think about flowers, we think about beautiful flowers that emit a wonderful aroma.  Roses, violets, apples, all have delightful smells but not all flowers have that characteristic.  There are many out there known for their unique smells, most of which people would describe as stinky.

One is known as the Corpse Flower.  Its Latin name is Titan Arum.  This flower is found in Sumatra in the equatorial rainforest area.  People have described the scent as similar to rotting meat or decaying corpses.  This particular flower is classified as the smelliest flower out there.  Although it only blooms every four to six years, the flowers last only one to two days before they die but the scent remains for several days.  The unique thing about this flower is that it is composed of many little flowers called inflorescence.

Another is the Eastern Skunk cabbage located in eastern North America in wetland soils.  This plant smells like a dead skunk.  In addition, the flower is able to attract flies to itself and it can generate enough heat to melt the snow around itself so it grows through snow covered ground.  This plant is thought to have medicinal properties to treat asthma, epilepsy, rheumatism, and coughs.

There is also a Western Skunk cabbage found in the swamps of the Pacific Northwest.  It has the same ability to produce enough heat to push through snow covered ground but this one is eaten by bears after hibernation because it's a laxative.

Stapelia Gigantea, Flower Star, Cactus
Stapellia Gigantea
There is another flower that emits a rotted meat scent is the Rafflesia Arnoldii or second corpse lily.  It is considered the largest single flower in the world  at over 3 feet wide and is a parasite so it never grows in the earth. It is a protected flower in Indonesia and is classified as one of the three national flowers there even though it has a horrible smell.

One can check out the Stapellia Gigantea or Carrion flower.  It is also known as the Toad Flower or  Zulu Giant Starfish flower.  This plant is native to South America and it's scent attracts flies and maggots.  It blooms once a year in September producing a five pointed flesh colored flower.  The flesh colored flowers are covered with a fine hair thought to mimic dead flesh.

Another stinky flower is the Dead Horse Arum Lily or Helicodiceros because its scent reminds people of the smell of dead horses.  When the day is sunny, the flowers open up so flies crawl down into female flowers where they are trapped for the day.  The male flowers shed their pollen onto the female flowers and onto the flies so when they are released with the hopes the flies will cross pollinate other Dead Horse Arum Lillies.

Then there is the Hydnora Africana or Stinking Root Parasite.  It is a fleshy flower plant found in South Africa that grows entirely underground.  It is also a parasitic plant that flowers above ground.  When the flower pushes through to bloom, it is covered in dung beetles who are attracted by the smell and caught by hairs in the flower.  Its scent is described as similar to poop.

No comments:

Post a Comment