VIDEO: Fetid flower with largest bloom set to open any day in Berkeley


BERKELEY (KRON) — A massive plant from Sumatra, Indonesia, may bloom any day now at the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, according to garden officials.

The plant, nicknamed Trudy, produces a fleshy spike surrounded by one enormous branched leaf that reaches 10 to 15 feet in height. These perennial herbs have the largest collection of blooms of any plant, according to garden officials.

The plant must usually be at least six to seven years old before it blooms, garden officials said. Trudy bloomed in the garden for the first time in 2005 and then bloomed again in 2009.

Garden officials said the plant, with the common name, Titan arum, short for the scientific name, Amorphophallus titanum, has attracted worldwide attention because of its size, appearance and odor.

Titan arums produce an overpowering stench similar to rotten flesh, according to garden officials, to attract insect pollinators such as beetles and flesh flies. The smell lasts from eight to 12 hours, the officials said.

In its natural habitat, the Indonesian plant generally grows on steep rainforest hillsides, approximately 400 to 1,200 feet above sea level.

Garden visitors can see Trudy in the Tropical House any day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last entry to the garden at 4:30 p.m.

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