- Latin name: Amorphophallus titanum
- The name Amorphophallus titanum means shapeless phallus
- Common name: Corpse plant, Titan Arum, Bunga Bangkai
- Native habitat: Sumatra in Indonesia
- Family: Araceae. This plant family is commonly referred to as the Arum Family. Other plants in this family include the Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Anthuriums,
Dieffenbachia and Philodendrons.
- The plant invests a lot of energy during blooming to heat up the sulfur-based compound in the flower stalk so the odor will
spread several feet away from the plant to attract pollinators.
- This species has the largest unbranched inflorescence of any herbaceous plant in the world.
- A mature bloom can reach up to 7-12 feet in height, and a diameter of 3-4 feet.
- A mature bloom will release powerful carrion like odor, which attracts carrion beetles, flesh flies and sweat bees for pollination.
- The bloom will last only 1-3 days.
- The “stinking” odor lasts only the first 8 hours the bloom is open.
- After the bloom dies, a leaf stalk will begin to emerge that resembles a tree sapling.
- A mature leaf can reach up to 20 feet in height and 15 feet in diameter.
- A mature tuber can weigh up to 120-170 pounds.
- First discovered in 1878 by Dr. Odoardo Beccari in Sumatra, Indonesia.
- First cultivated at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England in 1887.
- First BLOOMED IN the United States in 1937 at the New York Botanical Garden.
History of VA Tech’s Amphophallus plants:
These plants were grown from seed collected by James Symon in Sumatra in 1993. http://www.aroid.org/genera/amorphophallus/symon/symon.html
Symon donated seeds to the International Aroid Society, who then shared seeds with their members. John Ford, a member of the Aroid Society and a frequent visitor to the VA Tech Biological Sciences Greenhouse Facilities donated a seedling to our department. They started another clone from its tuber and donated it to the Horticulture Greenhouses.