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article imageJapan shows off the world's largest flower

By Tim Sandle     Jul 25, 2015 in Environment
Only in Japan: what is claimed to the world's largest flower has been announced and the display of the flower from the plant Titan arum has led to huge queues, with people flocking to look at the immense reproductive structure.
The giant flower is from the world's oldest and largest species of plant. It has unexpectedly bloomed at a Tokyo park, BBC World reports. This is the first time in five years that the plant has flowered, and this time the blossoming structure is said to the the largest yet seen.
Amorphophallus titanum is endemic to western Sumatra
Amorphophallus titanum is endemic to western Sumatra
US Botanic Garden
The plant in question is Titan arum. The plant itself is pretty large, at near 7 feet tall. The plant is located in the Jindai botanical gardens in the city of Chofu, close to Tokyo. Such is the popularity of the plant and its flower that opening hours have been extended and people are lining up around the block leading to the park to get a peak. The reason for the long lines of people is because the bloom only lasts for two days or so.
Titan arum (or Amorphophallus titanum) is a flowering plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world. An inflorescence is term for a cluster of flowers arranged on a stem, coming out from a main branch. This cluster of flowers resembles a large petal. The leaflike bract that encloses the flower cluster is a deep green color on the outside. This changes to a dark burgundy red coloration on the inside; this has a deeply furrowed texture. The plant is commonly found within the rainforests of western Sumatra in Indonesia. It is an "at risk" species of plant — in steady decline — primarily due to deforestation.
While the plant and its flower is something wondrous, it does have a downside: the odor. The smell is said to reminiscent of the smell of a decomposing mammal. For this reason, one of the common names for Titan arum is the corpse flower.
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