SOCIETY


Wonderful corpse lily

Baku, April 23, AZERTAC

The wonderful corpse lily is a rare flower found in the rainforests of Indonesia. Growing to almost a meter across, it's a smelly and parasitic plant, with no visible leaves or stem, and attaches itself to a host plant to obtain water and nutrients.

As the largest bloom in the world, the corpse lily has evolved to be more than beautiful: its reddish hue, warm temperature and intense odor are meant to attract insects that would feed on corpses. Dung beetles, flesh flies, and other carnivorous insects find the corpse flower to be the main attraction – they are all pollinators who are tricked into thinking the large bloom is another decaying prey.

The corpse lily only emits odor for an extremely brief window of time. In fact, the bloom only lives long enough to attract pollinators – about 36 hours maximum. After the bugs have flown away with pollen on their legs, the flower collapses. Somewhere else in the forest, the process starts all over again.

These magnificent flowers only bloom once in their lifetimes, and often require storing energy in their massive stalk for up to seven years. Oftentimes, the bloom is a popular event for tourists at local botanical gardens.

 

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