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Meet the Corpse Flower and its Family

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The Gardens welcomed our third bloom in five years of Amorphophallus titanum in 2018, more commonly known as the corpse flower or titan arum. When the flower opened on August 30th it emitted a foul odor for under 48 hours. This odor is a mechanism for the plant to draw in pollinators, including carrion beetles and flies, from as far as a mile away! This particular plant was nicknamed Stinky and also was the first one to ever bloom at the Gardens in 2015. Its brother, Little Stinker bloomed in August 2016. Once a plant in cultivation blooms, it may rebloom as often as every 2-3 years.

While the corpse flower is the largest flower of its family, there are many other plants that are part of the arum family (Araceae) that you are likely already familiar with. This list will introduce you to some of the corpse flower's family members which grow both in the Conservatory and on the grounds at the Gardens.

You can visit Stinky and Little Stinker by walking through the Orangery. The plants can be viewed in the eastern most greenhouse before you enter Marnie's Pavilion. Depending on the time of your visit, you may see them as a single large leaf, as a dormant pot, or perhaps, as a newly emerging flower bud. You can also see many other species within the genus Amorphophallus in this same window.

Updated November 21, 2019

Amorphophallus titanum (Titan Arum)

The corpse flower known as Stinky started blooming for the second time on the afternoon of August 30th, 2018. The flower had closed again by Tuesday, September 4th. On September 5th, the inflorescence was removed and taken to the Kathryn Kalmbach Herbarium where it will be preserved as a specimen for scientific and educational use.

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Alocasia odora (Upright Elephant Ear)

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Amorphophallus bulbifer (Voodoo Lily)

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Anthurium 'Pink Champion' (Anthurium)

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Anthurium andraeanum 'Florida' (Flamingo Flower)

Brightly-colored, long-lasting spathe and spadix

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Anthurium cubense (Bird's Nest Anthurium)

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Anthurium dolichostachyum

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Arisaema tashiroi (Cobra Lily)

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Arum italicum (Italian Arum)

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Arum maculatum (Lords And Ladies)

This is a spring blooming plant. The images show the spathe and spadix.

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Colocasia esculenta (Taro)

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Dracunculus vulgaris (Dragon Arum)

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Homalomena wallisii 'Selby'

 

Philodendron 'Moonlight' (Philodendron)

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Pinellia pedatisecta (Fan-Leaf Chinese Green Dragon)

This early-summer bloomer has a long tongue-like spadix.

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Spathicarpa sagittifolia (Fruit Sheath Plant)

flowers fused to leaf-like spathe

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Spathiphyllum 'Emerald Swirl' (Peace Lily)

variegated form

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Spathiphyllum Lynise™ (Peace Lily)

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Syngonium 'White Butterfly' (Arrowhead Vine)

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Zamioculcas zamiifolia (Fern Arum)

This plant also goes by the name of ZZ plant.

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