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Titan arum

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Titan arum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Arales
Family: Araceae
Genus: Amorphophallus
Species: titanum
Binomial name
Amorphophallus titanum
The titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) or "corpse plant" is the largest flower in the world (but not the largest single flower--that distinction belongs to Rafflesia). It is taller than a man. Like its cousins the arum[?] and the calla[?], it consists of a fragrant spadix of flowers wrapped by a spathe, which looks like the flower's single petal--but in this flower, the "fragrance" is of rotting meat, to attract the carrion-eating beetles that pollinate it.

First discovered in Sumatra in 1878, the plant flowers only infrequently in the wild and even more rarely when domesticated. Specimens of this plant grown at Kew Gardens attracted worldwide attention by their flowering in 2002; later that same year, a specimen in a collection in California came into flower for a second time. Most recently, a plant grown from seed at the University of California, Davis flowered on 9 June, 2003.

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