Records and Facts

Porta Potti Plant Also Known as Corpse Flower

Corpse Flower cultivation

Photo by [anitapeppers] morgueFile

It all started that one day on the islands northwest of Madagascar in 2006 and 2007.

Greg Wahlert and His Discovery

Greg Wahlert from the University of Utah discovered what’s been deemed the Porta Potti Flower while searching for violets on two remote islands in this region. Wahlert is a researcher in botany so what he discovered blew his senses literally.

This new species of flower, A. perrieri has some unique properties, but not necessarily pleasant. These Porta Potti plants, also known as Corpse Flowers grow up to five feet tall and only bloom once a year. But what’s really unique about these foul smelling bloomers is the horrible stench that accompanies their not so beautiful shape.

The odor emitted from these Corpse Flowers has been described as a combination between rotting roadkill and a porta potti. This is definitely a flower you wouldn’t want to send home to your mother on Mother’s Day.

The Corpse Flower Species A. perrieri

This newly discovered flower is part of approximately 170 species in the Amorphophallus genus, oddly enough this genus mean “misshapen penis”, so you can imagine the form this beauty takes on when in bloom.

Wahlert believed this bizarre plant to be a new species so he found it best to cultivate this species after bringing home samples. To his joy, after consulting with an expert in the Netherlands, his suspicions were confirmed. The Porta Potti, or Corpse Flower was indeed an undiscovered species, and he felt quite lucky to of caught this stinky flower in its once a year blooming stage.

Thanks to the slim chances of rain in that particular part of Madagascar, Wahlert was pleased to of made his discovery. These Corpse Flowers normally spend much of the year dormant underground while waiting for the rain to come before poking their stinky heads above.

While under controlled conditions Wahlert’s cultivating experiments yielded flowers in a mere two weeks. But under normal conditions on the island and the poor soil they have to grow in, they are quite rare in their natural habitat.

Why Do Porta Potti Flowers Stink So Bad

This species of flower emits this terrible rotting flesh odor in an effort to attract flies and other nasty bug specimens. There are other types of flowers contained in the Amorphophallus genus that may smell of more pleasant odors such as the all favorite chocolate or other various spices.

But even though this flower Wahlert collected smelled like rotting roadkill, he was pleased to of found it in order to add a new species to the list.

Wonder if you could make a gourmet dish out of this beauty? Do you have someone in mind that you’d love to send a bouquet of rotting flesh to?

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