What flower is this?


Amorphophallus titanum, better known as “Corpse Flower,” has visitors lined up in its presence, crinkling their noses. The flower itself is a rarity, blooming only every decade or so, and it is only 1 out of 550 of its kind to have bloomed in cultivation since the late 19th century. Furthermore, the plant must reach 10-15 years of age before it blooms for the first time and then only blooms every 3-5 years thereafter. The distinctive smell can be attributed to the flies and carrion beetles that pollinate the plant in its natural habitat. It has been described by many to resemble the pungent scent of a dead animal, similar to that of rotting flesh.

Despite such a foul odor, throngs of people gathered to view a rare titan arum by the name of Peter Grande this past summer, at Plant Delights Nursery at Raleigh’s Juniper Level Botanic Garden. It is the tallest to ever bloom in North Carolina, at around 77 inches, and remains in the garden to this day for research and conservation purposes (although no longer in bloom). Another example of this olfactory experience occurred back in September of 2016. This particular flower could be seen in full bloom at the Marye Anne Fox Teaching Greenhouses at NC State in Raleigh. A student seeking his master’s degree at the university, Brandon Huber, named the flower Lupin after a Harry Potter character. Onlookers from far and wide came to get a whiff of it for themselves.