Amorphophallus titanum

Amorphophallus titanum - Reuse-aronskelk, Corpse flower, Titan arum, bunga bangkai
Common name: Reuse-aronskelk, Corpse flower, Titan arum, bunga bangkai
Family: Araceae (Aroid)
Synonym: Amorphophallus selebicus
Distribution: Sumatra, Indonesia
IUCN Red list: Not evaluated
Comments: Famous for being the world's biggest flower, although technically it is actually the largest unbranched inflorescence. This tropical relative of South African Arum Lilies "flower" can reach 3m and smells so bad that the Sumatran locals call it bunga bangkai, the corpse flower. The tremendous stench of rotting meat tricks carrion-eating beetles and flesh flies (family Sarcophagidae) that pollinate it. The inflorescence's deep red color and texture also mimic rotting meat, and to complete the illusion, the tip of the spadix heats itself to body temperature, also helping to volatilise the stinky compounds.
The plant is endemic to the Indonesion island of Sumatra, where it grows in openings in rainforest on limestone hills. Like many inhabitants of the tropical forests, it has been severely impacted by forest habitat loss in the wild.
It was only assessed for the IUCN Red List for the first time in 2018 - immediately listed as Endangered, following an estimated population decline of 50% over the past 150 years. The main reasons for the decline are logging and the conversion of the plant’s native forest habitat to oil palm plantations; fewer than 1,000 individuals remain in the wild.
Links: IUCNUniversity of Connecticut (archived on wayback machine)Wikipedia


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