World's smelliest flower blooms after 75 years

World's smelliest flower blooms after 75 years

The flower, nicknamed "corpse flower" for its incredibly pungent smell, bloomed late on Friday at the University of Basel and was expected to last until Sunday.

The eight-foot Titan Arum plant, which is indigenous to Sumatra's rainforests in Indonesia, has the largest unbranched shoot in the world. On average, they bloom once in a decade, the Daily Mail reported.

Titan Arum is coveted by plant enthusiasts around the world because of its strange blooming patterns. The distinctive smell of the plant, which produces umbrella-sized petals, can be detected from half a mile away.

According to researchers, the odour, which is usually strongest at night, is meant to attract pollinators such as carrion beetles and flesh flies. When the plants are ready to pollinate, the stem heats up to release a pungent smell, which lasts for about three days.

The largest Arum can weigh up to 200 pounds and grows at a staggering rate of a quarter of an inch an hour. It guzzles liquid fertiliser and potassium each week to keep up its strength while bedded in roomy surroundings.

Sir David Attenborough, who invented the name Titan Arum, was the first to capture it flowering on film for his BBC TV series The Private Life of Plants. He dropped the plant's original name -- Amorphophallus -- perhaps because of the reference to male genitalia.

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