Plants

The Corpse Flower's Smell

"Corpse Flower" is the nickname of the enormous titan arum. This plant uses a horrible stench to attract beetles and flies—who are drawn to rotting flesh because that's where they lay eggs—for pollination. The flower only blooms for a single night every 3-10 years, and during this process it reaches temperatures around 90°F (32°C) to help the odor spread.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. "Corpse flower" is a direct translation of Amorphophallus titanum's Indonesian name. 00:33

  2. The corpse flower emits its malodorous chemicals to attract its pollinators. 01:28

  3. The isovaleric acid in the corpse flower produces a smell similar to that of old sweatsocks. 02:16

Written By
Curiosity Staff
September 14, 2014