Hundreds of people lined up at the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary at Alattil, North Wayanad, Kerala, to get a glimpse of a rare and the largest flower in the world – Titan Arum – that bloomed after nine years.
Amorphophallus Titanum or Titan Arum is more commonly known as ‘Corpse Flower’ because of its pungent smell, very similar to rotten flesh, and is almost two metres long.
Native to Sumatra, Indonesia, the flower is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world and will last for just 48 hours before it collapses in on itself.
Suma Keloth, conservationist of the sanctuary, said that the plant has grown from a seed planted about nine years ago. He told that the flower cannot self-polinate and its pungent smell attracts sweat bees and carrion beetles that live on animal caccasses.
Before Kerala, the ‘Corpse Flower’ had bloomed in Switzerland in 2011 after 75 years. Till 2011, there had been only 134 recorded artificially cultivated blooms worldwide.
Established by late Wolfgang Theuerkauf, a German who dedicated over 30 years of his life to the conservation of plants of southern India, the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary also harbours over 200 species of orchids, 250 species of ferns and several other rare plant species.