March 25, 2008

Voodoo Lily

Not everything smells like roses in my garden.  There was a bit of
commotion in the greenhouse recently because my Amorphophallus, or
voodoo lily, sent up an extraordinary bloom.  This most curious plant
is not only bizarre looking (quite phallic, in fact), but its aroma, or
stink, if you will, is that of rotting flesh.  Fortunately, the variety
that I own is rather mild smelling in comparison to its relative,
Amorphophallus titanum.  This flower can reach a height of 6 feet or
more and can be 3 to 4 feet across.  It has earned the nickname of
“Corpse Flower” because of the exceptionally foul odor that it exudes.
So why would Mother Nature be so cruel?  Well, for pollination
purposes, of course!  The kind of insects that might be drawn to road
kill, simply love the voodoo lily.  So, will I be acquiring a “Corpse
Flower” anytime soon?  Not if I want to keep Jodi and Erika as my

Here it is emerging from the soil

A few weeks later...

Full bloom and what a smell!

A closer look at this strange flower


Notice the color - it looks a bit like blood to fool the insects even more.