News / USA

    Tall, Stinky Plant is a Draw At US Botanic Garden

    Tall, Stinky Plant is a Draw At US Botanic Gardeni
    X
    July 23, 2013 12:54 AM
    What’s purple, green and smells rancid from midnight to dawn? You guessed it, the titan arum. The towering flower released its stench for the first time in seven years as it bloomed Sunday evening at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington DC. VOA’s Caroline Arnold reports as world attention was focused on Britain's new royal, in Washington people from far and wide came to see - and smell - the world's largest collection of flowers on one stem.
    Tall, Stinky Plant is a Draw At US Botanic Garden
    What’s purple, green and smells rancid from midnight to dawn? You guessed it, the titan arum. The towering flower released its stench for the first time in seven years as it bloomed Sunday evening at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington DC. As the world attention was focused on Britain's new royal, in Washington people from far and wide came to  see and smell the world's largest collection of flowers on one stem.
     
    An American royal was celebrated on Monday. It's called the titan arum, more commonly known as the Corpse Flower. It's famous for its unique odor - something like rotting flesh - which it uses to attract pollinators. Botanist Bob Willeby, at the U.S. Botanic Garden, says it takes a lot of energy for the plant to create such a large bloom, two to three meters tall.
     
    “This is an unusual occurrence, it happens infrequently throughout the United States in the world in general," he said. 
     
    It’s becoming more common, though, as colleges and universities acquire titan arums for their science programs. The plant, native to Indonesia, thrives in hot, humid climates. 
     
    Anticipation was high when the Botanic Garden announced the imminent flowering of its titan arum last week. But it didn't bloom until Sunday. When the crowd entered the gardens Monday morning, something was missing. 
     
    Some of the visitors were disappointed. “It’s not stinky," said one girl. 
     
    Botanic Garden Educator Todd Brethauer said the stench occurs in cycles.
     
    “The peak production of the chemicals, based on studies done in Germany and Japan, occurs around midnight and then it starts to taper off about four o’clock in the morning," he said. 
     
    This is to attract pollinators, like dung beetles and flies, rather than bees and butterflies.  They frequent sweet-smelling flowers.   
     
    Although visitors were not able to appreciate the anticipated odor, they were still content to see the incredible plant in all its glory. 
     
    Only a few lucky people were able to witness the blooming of the titan. The plant collapses after 24 to 48 hours. 

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    July 23, 2013 5:18 AM
    I wish we could smell one day this corpse plant's stinky stench through the picture online.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora