The flower can grow from 6 to 10 feet tall.
By Raif Karerat
WASHINGTON, DC: A Titan Arum, believed to be the world’s largest flower, has bloomed in Tokyo for the first time in five years, reported the Australian Associated Press Friday.
The gargantuan flower, which stands at over 6-and-a-half feet tall, has forced the city’s Botanical Garden to extend it opening hours since the blooming is such a truly rare occurrence.
The flower only blooms three or four times during its four decade lifespan, and only for two or three days at a time, leading many to believe Friday may be the last day to view the beautiful flora, reported the AP.
According to the BBC, Titan Arums can grow to be almost 10 feet across in circumference and stand at the same height, with a single leaf of the majestic plant able to reach the size of a small tree.
The flower’s smell, likened to rotting meat, is so putrid it has led to the colloquial moniker of “corpse flower.” Both the fragrance and the flower’s dark red coloration — meant to emulate the look of meat — attract pollinators such as carrion flies and beetles.
The Titan Arum is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It has been classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to threat from widespread deforestation.
Commonly confused with the Rafflesia, which is another monstrous bloom that is also referred to as the “corpse flower,” the two are distantly related.
Rafflesia has the largest single flower of any flowering plant, at least in terms of weight, while Titan arum has the largest unbranched inflorescence of any plant, according to various academic publications.