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Corpse flower

"Corpse flower" one of the smelliest plants on Earth, but it also has the largest collection of flowers (inflorescence) in the world. The unpredictable blooming spectacle makes this enigmatic flower a popular visitor attraction at botanic gardens worldwide. The first corpse flower to bloom outside its native Sumatra was at Kew Gardens, UK. in 1889.

"Corpse flowers are also able to warm up to 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.7 Celsius) to further fool the insects," "The insects think the flower may be food, fly inside, realize there is nothing to eat, and fly off with pollen on their legs. This process ensures the ongoing pollination of the species. Once the flower has bloomed and pollination is complete, the flower collapses. A mixture of tiny male and female flowers grow at the base of the spadix, the central phallus-like structure, which is surrounded by the spathe, a pleated skirt-like covering that is bright green on the outside and deep maroon inside when opened. The female flowers open first, then a day or two following, the male flowers open. This usually prevents the flower from self-pollinating.

According to the Eden Project Corpse flowers can take seven to nine years to bloom; some corpse flowers only bloom once every few decades and each bloom only lasts 24 to 36 hours. 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 somewhat green stalk that branches into three sections at the top, each containing many leaflets. The leaf structure can reach up to 6 m (20 ft) tall and 5 m (16 ft) 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 about four months. Then the process repeats.

Each Corpse flower can produce over 400 fruits, each containing two seeds according to the Chicago Botanic Garden. These fruits ripen from a gold color to orange then a rich crimson. When they are fully ripe — approximately six months after pollination — the fruits may look appetizing, but beware as they are poisonous to humans. In nature, the corpse flower fruit is typically eaten and dispersed by Rhinoceros Hornbills.

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