Seymour the Flower Blooms Every 7 Years
Seymour, the nickname of this corpse plant titan arum, is shown here in full bloom Saturday at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.
Seymour Amorphophallus titanum, also referred to as titan arum (its common name), "stinky plant" or "corpse plant," is known as one of the largest flowers in the world and has not bloomed in the Gardens since 2005.
The full bloom lasts less than a day, before collapsing under its own weight. The last time a corpse plant bloomed at Selby Gardens, it reached a height of nearly five feet.
The corpse plant has the world's largest unbranched flower cluster (inflorescence) and contains arguably the most noxious smell. Like many fly- and beetle-pollinated plants, the flower emits an odor during the first few hours of opening that is reminiscent of putrid meat.
As with other plants in its family, such as calla lily, the corpse bloom consists of a fragrant spadix of flowers wrapped by a spathe resembling a single large petal. The spadix is topped with a large, creamy-white appendage, giving the plant its towering height.
It is rare for anyone to see this plant flower in the U.S. A native of Sumatra, Indonesia, the corpse plant is listed on the World Conservation Union's Red List of Threatened Species.
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