One plant’s weird way to attract pollinators

Through a series of chemical reactions, the central spadix of the Titan Arum, Amorphophallus titanium, heats up to emit and distribute an atrocious stench to attract pollinators, thought to be carrion beetles and/or blow flies. This accounts for its common name of ‘corpse flower’. It is native to the rainforests of Sumatra.

The film, taken at Cambridge University Botanic Garden using a thermal imaging colour, clearly shows the spadix heating up from the tip down on night one of its five day flowering.

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