Well, this Friday Weird Sex Blogging is not going to be so unique. After all, Janet and Zuzu have already blogged about it, but who can resist a phallic-looking, rotten-meat smelling, fly-attracting flower! And it is not a B-grade movie on the sci-fi channel. This is real! The Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum), in all its 3m tall glory is about to start stinking up the greenhouse at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden (follow the flowering on the blog or watch the flowering web-cam here) :
geeeeeeeze!!!! sometimes true life is weirder then life :)
We had one of these bloom here in Seattle a few years back. Hoo boy, did that stink! But it was damn cool nonetheless.
Holy Shit that's big.
It's enough to make one feel inadequate...
Futher proof the intelligent designer is a pervert.
I'm guessing that the really bad smell is to attract flies or other scavengers to pollenate (correct me if I'm wrong), but I wonder if there's any particular selective advantage to the uhm, unique shape. Any botanists want to chime in? :)
You are right about the smell. The size may have something to do with the ability to produce a lot of stench and be it dipersed a long distance. The shape may be just the result of the way flowers develop when scaled to such size. I don't know, but shape may not have an adaptive value in itself and can be just a byproduct of evolution for size.