Titan Arum
Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum)
Images of the Titan arum in bloom from 2012
Titan Arum (Corpse flower)

Titan ArumThe unique Amorphophallus titanum, commonly known as Titan arum or the “corpse flower,” is a large, fast-growing plant in the Aroid family. Few of these plants exist in cultivation, and they bloom only rarely and under just the right conditions. On the extremely infrequent occasion that a Titan arum comes into flower, the intense, foul odor, emitted from a tall spike of small, crowded flowers, lasts just a few days.

Every year or two, the plant sends up one long, gigantic, rolled-up leaf that unfurls its umbrella-like blade during a period of about three weeks. The leaf lives for one or two years before the plant goes into a dormant period that lasts from a few months to a year. The inflorescence, a giant flowering structure opens quickly, often in just a couple of hours. It maintains its full form for about three to five days, with peak bloom (and the awful odor) lasting about 24 hours.

Titan arum in bloom, May 2012

In a surprising turn of events, the Garden has hosted the blooming of three Amorphophallus titanum plants recent years. The first bloomed on May 19, 2012, followed by a second exactly a month later on June 19, 2012. A third titan plant bloomed on October 17-18, 2013.

View photos of titan arums in bloom

June 19, 2012
October 17-18, 2013

Titan arum time lapse, May 2012