In a greenhouse at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, a rare phallic-shaped plant bloomed. Known as the penis plant, the species has only flowered in Europe three times, the last time in 1997.
The currently flowering penis plant at the university was planted six years ago by garden volunteer Rudmer Postma, according to A press release by the university’s botanical garden, Leiden Hortus Botanicus.
Garden workers noticed the plant’s flowering bud in September. The bud reached over 3 feet tall, with a stem over 6 feet tall.
The scientific name for the penis plant is Amorphophallus decus-silvae, and he is originally from Indonesia. The plant needs a very hot and humid environment to flower – which is why it hasn’t flowered often in Europe, let alone in the Netherlands.
It is difficult to predict when the plant will flower, but the smell of the flower cannot be missed even if it is not fully blooming. The flowering process has two parts. In the first, part of it heats up and begins to emit an odor that the university likens to “rotting flesh.” Pollinators, like flies, are attracted to the scent. The penis plant then flowers and produces pollen, which covers the insects.
Since there is no other penis plant in Leiden, the garden will send the plant’s pollen to a garden that does.
“It didn’t smell too bad yet, but (the smell) got more intense in the afternoon,” said Roos Kocken, garden volunteer and yoga teacher. TikTok Video she posted last week as the plant was starting to flower.
Bigger Amorphophallus plants don’t flower for several years, said Susan Pell, deputy executive director of the US Botanical Garden. CNN.
“This bloom is just using all the energy that has been stored in that bulb. And so in order to flower again, this bulb has to produce a series of leaves over … somewhere between probably three to 10 or 12 years old in order to get enough energy back into the bulb to support a flowering, which this bulb really occupies. for over a year, ”Pell said.
A relative of the penile plant is the corpse plant, or Amorphophallus titanum, which is also known for its putrid smell.