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Sumatran `corpse flower` blooms and releases stench in US

Last Updated: Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 18:31

Washington: A corpse flower nicknamed Chanel has bloomed for the first time in the US and in the process has released a stench resembling a cross between rotting flesh and Limburger cheese.

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) biology greenhouse manager Danica Taber said that this was a rare occurrence under cultivation and had become even rarer in its native Sumatra, where the deforestation of equatorial rainforests has wreaked havoc on its habitat.

Amorophallus titanum, its proper botanic name, was discovered in 1878 by the Florentine botanist Odoardo Beccarini, heats up as it blooms in order to disperse its perfume,` which enables the smell to go farther, attracting more pollinating insects and increasing their chances of pollination.

An infrared camera captured time-sequence thermal imagery of the flower as her spadix, the tall core spike housing both female and male flowers, heated up to nearly human body temperature.

The plant`s temperature started rising at 7 p.m. Tuesday night and peaked at 95.5 degree Fahrenheit at 12:23 am Wednesday morning.


First Published: Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 18:31
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