NewsWorldThe rare "penis plant" bloomed for the first time...

The rare “penis plant” bloomed for the first time in more than two decades


(CNN) – A rare plant with a tall, phallic shape blooms in a garden in the Netherlands. It is known as “penis plant”, and it is only the third time that the species has flourished in Europe since 1997, according to the botanical garden of the University of Leiden. Leiden Hortus Botanicus.

The six-year-old plant, whose scientific name is Amorphophallus decus-silvae, was grown by garden volunteer Rudmer Postma, according to a press release. Garden staff first observed the flower bud in mid-September, and in just over a month the bud reached half a meter in height, with the narrow stem reaching up to 2 meters.

“Few botanical gardens have Amorphophallus decus-silvae in their collection, which makes the flowering of the plant especially rare,” the statement said.

Native to the Indonesian rainforest, the “penis plant” requires a very hot and humid growing environment, making it difficult to grow in Europe. But its terrible and pungent odor, similar to that of rotten meat, helps to gardeners predict when it will bloom, which, according to the release, occurs in two phases: the female flowering phase and the male flowering phase.

During the female flowering phase, the white part of the flower, shaped like a phallus, called the spadix, heats up and emits the scent.

“It still didn’t smell too bad, but it got more intense in the afternoon,” said garden volunteer and yoga teacher Roos Kocken at a TikTok video which he posted on October 22.

Pollinators, including flies, are attracted to this scent, so they flock to the plant and cover themselves with pollen that the plant produces during its male flowering phase. As there is no other penis plant in the Leiden Hortus Botanicus, the staff are collecting the pollen for later use or shipping to other botanical gardens, according to the university.

For larger Amorphophallus plants, it’s not unusual for many years to pass between blooms, said Susan Pell, deputy executive director of the United States Botanical Garden.

The flowering of Amorphophallus plants emerge from their underground structures called corms, which are like the underground part of tree trunks, he explained.

“That flowering uses all the energy that has been stored in that corm. And for it to bloom again, that corm has to produce a series of leaves over … between three and 10 or 12 years, probably, to return to accumulate enough energy to support a bloom, which actually occupies that corm for more than a year, “added Pell.

Close relatives of the plant include Amorphophallus gigas and Amorphophallus titanum, or “corpse plant,” the latter known for its characteristic stench during the flowering period. The corpse flower has been exhibited in popular gardens such as the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden, the United States Botanical Garden and the San Diego Botanical Garden.


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