TOKYO: Titan Arum said to be the largest flower in the world has bloomed in Tokyo’s Jindai Botanical Garden for the first time in five years.
Titan Arum is an herbaceous plant and is also known as Amorphophallus Titanium.
Titan is also to be the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world. The flower has an obnoxious odor much akin to the smell of decomposing flesh.
The flower has been characterized as a carrion flower and is also called corpse flower or corpse plant. Titan has been put in the genus Rafflesia, which is much like Titan Arum, and grows in the rain-forests of Sumatra.
Experts said that the flower is endemic to Western Sumatra and grows wild in the rain-forests on limestone hills. The plant is otherwise cultivated in botanical gardens and by some private collectors the world over.
Inflorescence could extend up to three meters and is composed of a spadix of flowers wrapped in a petal shaped structure called spathe.
The spathe of Titan arum is deep green on the outside and dark burgundy red on the inside, and has a deep furrowed texture.
As per sources, the spadix of the flower is hollow and looks very similar to that of a loaf of bread. Bottom of the spadix are two rings of flowers, the upper ring bears the male flowers while the lower ring is the female flowers.
The female flower has bright red-orange carpels and a fragrance like rotting meat that attracts carrion-eating beetles and flesh flies who ultimately pollinates it.
The inflorescence carries both male and female flowers. Female flower opens first and the male flower follows it.
The two-meter flower has become very famous across the town and has attracted hundreds of visitors forcing the administration to extend its opening hours.
Experts stated that Titan arum blooms very rarely, nearly three or four times in its forty-year life. The bloom stays for only two to three days, they said.