MILWAUKEE, Jan. 8 (UPI) — A rare, large and foul-smelling plant in the lily family that blooms about every six years may stink up the Milwaukee Public Museum Jan. 18, authorities say.
The corpse flower — a tital arum (large lily), or Amorphophallus titanium (huge unshaped penis) — normally grows wild in Indonesian rainforests. The schedule by which they flower is unpredictable, and once they do so, it is only for 24 to 48 hours, says a notice on the Web site of San Francisco State University.
In 2008 when the museum’s other corpse flower bloomed, it gave off a stench compared to used baby diapers or rotting human flesh, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday.
The species was given both its names, tital arum and Amorphophallus titanium, by naturalist and broadcaster Sir Richard Attenborough for his BBC television program “The Private Life of Plants,” during which a plant was captured on film pollinating and flowering.
It is estimated that only 140 corpse flowers exist and the Milwaukee Public Museum now houses four. The museum’s success growing them, says Neil Luebke, the museum’s curator of botany, is due to the warm, humid environment in which they’re raised.
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