The World's Stinkiest Flower
Ah! Spring is here - time to stop and smell the flowers - except of course if you happen to be near a blooming Titan Arum, an exotic-looking flower that is native to Indonesia.
That is because when it blooms, instead of emitting a pleasant fragrance, this beautiful flower emits a stench that resembles rotting meat or garbage. Fortunately, it lasts only for three days and happens once in every six or seven years.
The plant does this to lure flesh-eating beetles, which become attracted to the stench and crawl inside, only to find themselves trapped in the sticky pollen. Once the pollen gets stuck to the insect's bodies, the flowers wither out, allowing the beetles to escape.
In the wild, the Titan Arum can be found only in the equatorial forests of Sumatra, Indonesia. The plants, which resemble a small tree, grow really fast - about a quarter of an inch every hour. Fully-grown Titan Arums, can reach heights in excess of 20ft, widths close to 16ft and weigh as much as 70lbs.
A few flower conservatories around the world also cultivate these exotic plants in-house. Amongst them is Kew Gardens in Surrey, London, which houses twelve of these giant plants. Two of them are expected to make history this weekend, by blooming at the same time - the first in the conservatory's 250-year history.
However, instead of inviting visitors to come view this historic event, they are being asked to keep their distance - unless of course they like strong stomach churning pongs! PHEW!
sources:wikipedia.org, dailymail.co.uk, telegraph.co.uk