Amorphophallus titanium (Becc.) Becc. ex. Arcang
The Largest Inflorescence in the World
The titan arum is a distant relative of Amorphophallus konjac, but inedible, with the largest inflorescence of the flowering plants reaching the maximum height of 300 cm. It has its floral axis wrapped by spathe bracts, typical of the family Araceae. In bloom, it emits rotten smells to attract rainforest insects as pollinators. The underground roots of titan arum are very advanced. During the nutrition stage in its life cycle, it bears an umbrella-like compound leaf on its underground stem to store nutrients in its stem tuber through photosynthesis. When nutrition is sufficient and time is right, it would accomplish sexual reproduction and grow a giant inflorescence to produce seeds for generational propagation.
This specimen was made by collecting a live sample from Sumatra, Indonesia, fast freezing and color retention treatment, so that we are able to take a look at the authentic appearance of the largest inflorescence in the world, here in Taiwan.