The corpse flower (Amorhophallus titanum). Characteristics and care

One of the rarest plants in the world and classified as the largest flower in the world is the protagonist of today’s article. It’s about the Amorhophallus titanum. It is known by the common names of giant hoop or corpse flower because of the unpleasant smell it gives off. It is native to the rainforests of Indonesia. Thanks to its large size, it has become very famous all over the world and there are always tourists who want to see it in person. Since it gives off a corpse smell (or putrefaction), it is not normal to spend a lot of time in front of it.

In this article we are going to reveal to you all the secrets of the Amorhophallus titanum and we will say what care you need.

Key features

Amorphophallus titanium care

It is a plant that needs highly special conditions. This means that it cannot be had anywhere in the world. For example, you need fairly warm climates and very high humidity. These conditions are what we find in tropical forests with a high level of rainfall. Nevertheless, These same conditions can be recreated in botanical gardens, nurseries and greenhouses.

The Amorhophallus titanum It is capable of reaching 3 meters in height if the conditions are ideal. It has a type of tuber on the surface from which a stem up to 1 meter long sprouts. It only has one leaf and one flower stalk. When you can see it bloom, it is a spectacle worthy of nature. This is because the plant, which is about 40 years old, is usually it only blooms 3-4 times in all that time. As you can see, this is a fantastic thing and to see it bloom is a very beautiful thing.

The inflorescence, as it develops, takes the shape of a spadix. This inflorescence is protected by a bract of an enormous size. The color is green on the outside and red on the inside. The flower already begins to open when it has matured and will give a rather beautiful bell-shaped structure from the base.

The spadix that forms has a lighter yellow color. To distinguish which are the yellow flowers and which are the male, you just have to look that the female ones are at the bottom and the male ones are at the top. It also has sterile flowers at one apex. These flowers are called staminoids. So that the plant does not self-pollinate, the male flowers open one day after the female ones.


Corpse flower

This plant is capable of growing in quite disturbed lands such as forests. The flower pollinates in these places and turns into a yellow or red berry shaped like a globe. Although aesthetically it is a very beautiful plant, the most unpleasant thing about it is the intense smell of rotten meat that it gives off. As it closes on the second day, this smell diminishes.

This stench comes from the attraction of various insects that help it pollinate. Without this smell it would not attract insects and without pollination the plant can die. This is because the seed formation process weakens it.

Among its colors we find orange, red or purple. Despite being quite large in size, the structure is simple. It does not have roots, leaves, shoots, nor does it need to photosynthesize. It only lives on the energy it perceives from the sun.

Pollination of this plant is more complex than normal. The process by which you attract flies requires more heat. In addition, these insects absorb their nutrients while they pollinate them.

The area of ​​distribution of this plant is Sumatra, in Indonesia. This is because it is an endemic plant and only exists there. Its natural habitat is tropical jungles on steep slopes at a height of approximately 300 meters above sea level. It is a plant listed as a Vulnerable species since Sumatra’s forests are under massive threat from deforestation.

Necessary care of Amorhophallus titanum

amorphophallus titanum

The corpse flower could be kept at home, as long as the environmental conditions it requires are met. With the unpleasant smell that it gives off, it may not be the best option for the garden. Even so, we are going to give you the main requirements that must be met and the care that must be given to them so that the plant can develop in good conditions.

Although they come from tropical areas, they can withstand somewhat more temperate climates, as long as minimum humidity conditions are maintained. It can flourish after its first 2 or 3 years of life. The flower only lasts about 9 days. When this time has passed, it turns yellow until it fades completely and falls off the bulb.

When the plant is dead, the bulb goes through a hibernation stage to be able to store nutrients and energy. If the plant has the humidity it needs and good care, it will be able to sprout more new bulbs with new flowers. It is important that the bulbs are protected from the cold if we want it to generate flowers again. It also cannot give it direct sun or it will burn its surface.

If we want to relocate them when it is in hibernation, we can place the bulb in wide pots and thus prevent it from rotting. The earth must always be moist. The bulbs that are born can be placed in other pots or separated well from each other. In this way, we prevent them from colliding with each other when they go out next season.

The corpse flower grows depending on the area where we place it. If it is time to grow up and you are in a place with a lot of sun, it will not be able to grow slightly and will turn a dark green color. The soil we use must be mixed with black soil, red soil and peat, maintaining a high level of humidity at all times. As it opens, you must spray it with water with a spray to prevent it from drying out. With this we will be making it last longer and we can see it more.

I hope that with these tips you can enjoy the Amorphophallus titanum.

The corpse flower (Amorhophallus titanum). Characteristics and care

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