WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The endangered Sumatran Titan arum, also known as the corpse flower, went into a rare, short bloom at a botanical garden in Warsaw, attracting crowds who waited for hours to see it.
The unusual flower, which emits a dead-body odor to attract pollinating insects that feed on flesh, bloomed Sunday and was already withering early Monday. Those who wanted to avoid the smell and crowds could watch
it live from the Warsaw University Botanical Gardens
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people
queued for hours at the conservatory on Sunday and Monday morning just to be able to pass by the flower and take a photo.
The flowering plant, also known as Amorphophallus titanum, has the world's largest unbranched inflorescence, which can reach 3 meters (10 feet) in height. Its compound flower is composed of a hollow, tall spadix with small flowers and a spathe, with one large, furrowed petal that is green
on the outside and deep burgundy red on the inside.
The plant only grows in the wild in Sumatra's rainforests, but it is endangered due to deforestation. Cultivation at botanical gardens, where they are a popular visitor attraction, has aided in its preservation. It was first seen blooming outside Sumatra in 1889 at London
's Royal Botanical Gardens