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Amorphophallus titanium plant is restricted to the
Sumatra Island in the Indonesian archipelago. It holds a world
record for having the largest unbranched inflorescence (flowering
Amorphophallus titanium plant is restricted to the Sumatra Island in the Indonesian archipelago. It holds a world record for having the largest unbranched inflorescence (flowering structure). The plant builds up its energy for 10 years to finally bloom and when it does it is a sight to behold. Thousands throng to witness the blooming of the glorious flower which rises upto 3 metres releasing a putrid, flesh-decomposing smell. Hence the name Corpse flower. The plant can maintain the bloom just for 24-36 hours before it collapses due to the huge energy demand of such a huge flower.
Energy is provided by its swollen, starchy storage root called a corm weighing up to 100kg. During non-flowering years, the corm sends up a single enormous branched leaf 3-4m tall, which looks more like a small tree. Its inflorescence consists of a fleshy yellow-green central spike called the spadix that stands over 2m tall, enclosed by a ruffled leaf-like cape called the spathe. Situated at the base of the spadix are several hundred tiny female flowers that grow in a ring below a band of thousands of male flowers. During the bloom, the spathe unfurls to reveal a crimson, velvety inner surface. The red interior and the putrid smell are designed to attract pollinators. The temperature of the bloom is also raised to 36C- human body temperature to help disperse its smell far and wide through the tropical jungle. Hardly a few plants are left in cultivation. A true wonder of Mother Nature.