For the last one week, hundreds of people are queuing up at the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary at Alattil, near Periya, in north Wayanad. All this just to get a glimpse of the Amorphophallus titanum or the corpse flower, which is in full bloom right now.
It’s a rare event. The world’s largest flower bloomed in Kerala after nine long years.
The plant, which is native to Indonesia’s Sumatra region, had been grown from a seed planted about nine years ago.
The corpse flower, like its name suggests, emits an extremely foul odour, akin to the smell of rotting flesh. It survives only for 48 hours.
Suma Keloth, conservationist of the sanctuary, told The Hindu that the corpse flower cannot self-pollinate. So, the stench it emits attracts sweat bees and carrion beetles that live on animal carcasses for pollination.
Here’s a time lapse by the Chicago Botanic Garden that follows the flower from germination to full bloom.