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Titan arum

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Titan arum
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Titan arum


Titan arum
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Liliopsida
Order:Alismatales
Family:Araceae
Genus:Amorphophallus
Species:titanum

Template:Taxobox section binomial botany

The Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) or "Corpse plant", in Indonesia "bunga bangkai" (bunga means flower, while bangkai means corpse or cadaver, the same title is also attributed to the famous Rafflesia), has the largest inflorescence in the world (but not the largest single flower; that distinction belongs to Rafflesia). The inflorescence reaches 2 metres tall, taller than a man. Like the related arum and calla, it consists of a fragrant spadix of flowers wrapped by a spathe, which looks like the flower's single petal. The "fragrance" of the inflorescence resembles rotting meat, attracting carrion-eating beetles and Flesh Flies (family Sarcophagidae) that pollinate it.

Both male and female flowers grow in the same inflorescence. The female flowers open first, then a day or two following, the male flowers open. This prevents the flower from self-pollinating.

After the flower dies back, a single leaf, which reaches the size of a small tree, grows from the underground corm. The leaf grows on a green stalk that branches into three sections at the top, each containing many leaflets. The leaf structure can reach up to 6 m tall and 5 m across. Each year, the old leaf dies and a new one grows in its place. When the corm has stored enough energy, it becomes dormant for as many as 4 months and the process repeats.

Cultivation

First discovered in Sumatra in 1878, the plant flowers only infrequently in the wild and even more rarely when cultivated. It first flowered in cultivation at the Kew Gardens in London in 1889, with around 60 cultivated blossoms since then. The number of cultivated plants has increased in recent years, and it is not uncommon for there to be five or more flowering events in gardens around the world in a single year.

The tallest bloom in cultivation was achieved in 2003 at the Botanical Gardens (http://www.botgart.uni-bonn.de/amorpho2003e.html) of Bonn, Germany. The event was acknoledged by the Guinness Book of Records (see the certificate (http://www.botanik.uni-bonn.de/botgart/o_samm/guinness.htm)).

Publicised flowering events in cultivation since May 2003
Date Location External link
May 12, 2003 Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, (the garden's fifth since 1998) [1] (http://www.fairchildgarden.org/blooms/amorphophallus2003.html)
May 22, 2003 Botanic Garden, Bonn, Germany [2] (http://www.botanik.uni-bonn.de/botgart/amorpho2003e.html)
June 9, 2003 UC Davis Botanical Conservatory, University of California, Davis [3] (http://greenhouse.ucdavis.edu/titan)
June 10, 2003 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London (Kew's fourth since April 2002) [4] (http://www.kew.org/plants/titan/index.html)
July 2, 2003 Le Conservatoire Botanique, Brest [5] (http://www.mairie-brest.fr/brest/arum_titan.htm) (in French)
July 23, 2003 United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC [6] (http://www.usbg.gov/your-visit/Titan-Day-1.cfm)
August 4, 2004 University of Wisconsin, Madison (the university's third since 2001) [7] (http://www.news.wisc.edu/titanarum2004/)
August 13, 2004 UC Davis Botanical Conservatory, University of California, Davis [8] (http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/titan/)
September 2, 2004 Cambridge University Botanic Garden, University of Cambridge [9] (http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/amorpho1.html)
7 October, 2004 Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney, Australia [10] (http://www.rbgsyd.gov.au/whats_new/titan_arum_photos)
11 April, 2005 Eden Project, St. Austell, UK [11] (http://www.edenproject.com/484_6007.htm)
21 April, 2005 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London (Kew's fifth since April 2002) [12] (http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/plants/titan/timeline2005.html)
May 14, 2005 Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, (the garden's fifth since 1998) [13] (http://www.fairchildgarden.org/blooms/amorphophallus04-2005.html)
May 30, 2005 San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers [14] (http://www.conservatoryofflowers.org/whatsnew/index.htm)
June 9, 2005 University of Wisconsin, Madison (the university's fourth since 2001) [15] (http://www.news.wisc.edu/titanarum2005/)

External links

es:Titan arum fr:Arum titan

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