Big & Stinky: The Full Bloom Cycle of The Corpse Flower

April 8, 2019 Updated: May 24, 2019

The striking plant in this video is an Amorphophallus titanum, commonly known as the “corpse flower”. Its scientific name literally means “gigantic penis” and you don’t really need a degree in botany to understand why. A corpse flower can grow about three inches a day and usually rises up to 8 feet into the air.

Although you can’t feel it by watching the video, this enormous plant smells like death. Once in bloom, it will produce a pungent odor that has been compared to the smell of an old fish, a dead rat or dirty baby diapers. This strong odor will be strong for a day and then dissipate. When a corpse flower blooms in the wild, its awful smell attracts carrion beetles and flesh flies that serve as natural pollinators. The plant usually takes 7 to 10 years of growth before blooming for the first time, and will sadly die in several days after it blooms.

Video Credit: Gustavus Adolphus College