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The world’s largest flower has blossomed

The world's largest flower has blossomed

Corpse flower – the world’s largest flower has blossomed

The world’s largest flower has blossomed
In the Botanic Garden in Basel, Switzerland has opened Titan Arum – 2.27 meters tall monster plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world. Although the plant has the smell of decomposing mammal, and is also known as the “corpse flower”, or “corpse plant”, hundreds of visitors gathered to see it blossoming. Titan Arum originates in the jungles of Sumatra. The last time Titan Arum blossomed in the Swiss botanical garden was in April 2011. Before that, the plant blossomed in Switzerland only in 1936. The Titan Arum in Basel attracted 25,000 visitors.

Titan Arum

The largest flower in the world, Titan Arum. Botanic Garden in Basel, Switzerland

It takes the Titan Arum 7–10 years before blooming for the first time. After the blooming, some plants may not bloom again for another 7–10 years while others may bloom every two to three years. There have also been documented cases of back-to-back blooms occurring within a year and corms simultaneously sending up both a leaf (or two) and an inflorescence. There has also been an occasion when a corm produced multiple simultaneous blooms.

The spathe generally begins to open between mid-afternoon and late evening and remains open all night. At this time, the female flowers are receptive to pollination. Although most spathes begin to wilt within twelve hours, some have been known to remain open for 24–48 hours. As the spathe wilts, the female flowers lose receptivity to pollination.

Self-pollination is normally considered impossible, but in 1999, Huntington Botanical Garden botanists hand-pollinated their plant with its own pollen from ground-up male flowers. The procedure was successful, resulting in fruit and ten fertile seeds from which several seedlings eventually were produced. Additionally, a Titan Arum at Gustavus Adolphus College unexpectedly produced viable seed through self-pollination in 2011.

The world’s largest flower has blossomed