|An early blooming Titan Arum|
Last updated: Jan 9th 2017
Rainforests of Bengkulu province are also home to the world's tallest flower and possibly the smelliest flower Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum), known locally as bunga Kibut or bunga Bangkai (English carrion flower) due to its odor which is like the smell of a rotting animal. Titan arum is a tropical plant native to Sumatra. The plant was first discovered by Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari in Sumatra – Indonesia in 1878. Now, the plant is listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The first known use of the name Titan arum was by an English broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough to refer to this gigantic tropical plant during the filming of the Private Life of Plants series in 1993 for BBC TV series. Attenborough felt that constantly referring to the plant as Amorphophallus titanium (meaning huge deformed penis) on popular BBC TV series would be inappropriate where viewers might feel uncomfortable or even might be offended by the plant’s scientific name.
|Titan Arum or Kibut is reminiscent of the smell of rotting flesh|
Titan arum can be found in several areas in the rainforests of Bengkulu province, normally in Kepahiang region (60 km or 37 miles from the city of Bengkulu) and in Taba Penanjung (45 km or 28 miles from the city of Bengkulu) on the slopes of the Bukit Barisan Mountains that are 120–365 m (394 - 1,194 ft) above sea level, the most accessible being close to the main road halfway between Bengkulu and Curup. Now Titan arum is one of Bengkulu's floral emblems.
Scientific classification Klik di sini untuk versi bahasa Indonesia
Species: A. titanum
Scientific name: Amorphophallus titanium
More informally it is also called Titan arum, Kibut, carrion flower or corpse flower.
|Kibut - the tallest flower on the planet|
Interesting facts about Titan arum
- When the inflorescence is fully open, Titan arum produces an overpowering stench of rotting flesh to attract insect pollinators such as corpse-eating beetles and flesh flies (Sarcophaga).
- This plant rarely blooms in cultivation but Mr. Holidin, a horticulturist, has had a remarkable success rate having produced several Titan arum for display in the village of Tebat Monok, Kepahiang district, Indonesia.
- Titan arum grows up from an underground tuber which may weigh up to 70 kg (150 pounds) and which can stay dormant for 1 to 3 years.
- The tuber produces leaf and flower at different times.
- The scientific name Amorphophallus titanum (from Ancient Greek amorphos + phallos, and titan) means “huge deformed penis” where people might feel uncomfortable or even get offended by the plant’s scientific name. Its Indonesian common name, bunga bangkai, roughly translated means ‘carrion flower’ due to its odor which is reminiscent of the smell of rotting flesh.
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|Titan Arum is a rich red, with a huge yellow stamen protruding from its core|
|Seeing a Titan Arum in the village of Tebat Monok - Kepahiang|
|The bud of Kibut/Titan Arum|
|Titan Arum can reach over 2 m (6.5 ft) in height|
|It takes 7–10 years to develop before blooming for the first time|
|The bloom of the Titan arum, Tebat Monok - Kepahiang Jan 2nd 2017|
Photographed in Tebat Monok, Kepahiang - Indonesia
Photos by Adriansyah Putera, Sirly Adriansyah & Kaneko Kenji