Giant corpse flower

Amorphophallus titanum ‘Peter Grande’

This week, a corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) bloomed at Plant Delights nursery in Raleigh.  Conveniently, blooming coincided with the nursery’s summer open-house.

Just a few years ago, the blooming of a corpse flower at a botanical garden would have been recorded by CNN or the national newspapers. Artificial propagation has made the species reasonably widespread in cultivation, but blooming is still an exciting horticultural event.  I had never before been privileged to see an A. titanum inflorescence.  It was impressively large, and although the stench was not as strong and pervasive as I expected, it definitely smelled like old road-kill.  The smaller Amorphophallus konjac in my garden have a hint of sewer in their fragrance, but this was pure carrion.

After paying our respects to ‘Peter Grande,” we did a little shopping.  The rain was coming down in sheets, so we cut short our browsing and came away with only a Penstemon murrayanus and a Hemerocallis altissima.  The baby A. titanum seedlings were tempting, but I managed to resist.  Maybe next time.

A. titanum seedlings for sale at Plant Delights

For more details on ‘Peter Grande’, see Plant Delights’ Titan Page.

5 thoughts on “Giant corpse flower

  1. Hi: Is the ‘artificial propagation’ by ‘chipping’, saving offsets, tissue culture, or is it simply the deliberate collection, distribution, and growth of seeds resulting from the blooming of earlier, more-heralded, A titanum?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not entirely certain. My impression is that the initial increase in cultivated plants was due to seed production, but plants can also be propagated by leaf cuttings and tissue culture. The latter two techniques may be the source of plants on sale at retail nurseries.


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