Friday’s featured organism: Amorphophallus titanum

Huge stinky dick

Image taken from Wikipedia.

by Francesco Lami

To inaugurate this new weekly (and extremely lazy, since I’ll just post images taken from the net adding only a few basic infos) section, I’ll use a plant instead of one of my beloved animals, mainly because of its name: those of you who were cursed, like me, to study latin, will translate it effortlessly into “huge misshapen dick“. And the flower of Amorphophallus titanum, the titan arum – which, with its 2-3 metres of height, is the biggest umbranched inflorescence in the world – does indeed look a little bit phallic. Not only that, but it also stinks like corpses to attract scvenger insects as pollinators. Interestingly enough, plants of the genus Rafflesia – another giant flower of Sumatra, not closely related to the titan arum – stinks like corpses too, and for the same reason, and so both flowers are called “corpse flower”.


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