World's Largest Flower, That Smells Like Rotten Flesh, Is Blooming In Kerala After 9 Years

It only survives for 48 hours.

26/07/2016 3:07 PM IST | Updated 26/07/2016 3:34 PM IST
Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters
Visitors look at a blooming Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum), one of the world's largest and rare tropical flowering plants, at Basel's Botanical Garden September 29, 2014. The flower, which emits strong odour likened to rotting meat, which gives it it's common name 'corpse flower', wilts and dies after two days. Both the 'fragance' and the flower's meat-colouration attract pollinators - carrion flies and beetles. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (SWITZERLAND - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)

For the last one week, hundreds of people are queuing up at the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary at Alattil, near Periya, in north Wayanad. All this just to get a glimpse of the Amorphophallus titanum or the corpse flower, which is in full bloom right now.

It's a rare event. The world's largest flower bloomed in Kerala after nine long years.

The plant, which is native to Indonesia's Sumatra region, had been grown from a seed planted about nine years ago.

The corpse flower, like its name suggests, emits an extremely foul odour, akin to the smell of rotting flesh. It survives only for 48 hours.

Suma Keloth, conservationist of the sanctuary, told The Hindu that the corpse flower cannot self-pollinate. So, the stench it emits attracts sweat bees and carrion beetles that live on animal carcasses for pollination.

Here's a time lapse by the Chicago Botanic Garden that follows the flower from germination to full bloom.

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