×
Back left
Back right

Wild Things: The Stinking Corpse Lily

SHARE IT!
LIKE IT!
kids articles

This flower may be the world's largest flower, but it will never win any beauty pageants. Besides being ugly, this flower stinks. It's nicknamed the 'stinking corpse lily' because it smells like decaying flesh, so it's not something you'd give to your girlfriend or boyfriend.

You'd also get in a lot of trouble for picking this flower cuz the Rafflesia arnoldii is rare and endangered. It only grows in the rain forests of Sumatra and in the Malay Archipelago in Borneo. The Stinking Corpse Lilly isn't exactly gonna blend in with other lillies either - it's unique looking. Unlike most flowers, it has no leaves or stems. Instead, it grows within the woody stems of the vine Tetrastigma, a relative of the grape. Occasionally a large flower bud that looks like a pale orange cabbage grows through the vine. This 'cabbage' becomes an enormous blossom about three feet long and weighing 25 pounds (11 kg) - that's as heavy as a bowling ball.

The Stinking Corpse LilyThe Stinking Corpse Lily

This gigantic flower has five petals splattered with white spots. A single female flower produces up to four million seeds, which are spread by several different animals. Ants and squirrels tend to carry the seeds away and they also get caught under the feet of wild pigs and Asian elephants. Beetles and flies that are attracted to decaying flesh carry pollen from flower to flower. Since most seeds rarely find a vine to grow in, this flower is slowly dying out.

Although it reeks like rotting flesh, this flower is only in full bloom for a week, so seeing one up close is a rare opportunity. (Don't forget to bring your nose plugs!)

Related Stories