July 24, 2023

By Sonakshi Kandhari Govind Kolady

Foul-Smelling Flowers


That will leave you breathless!

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One of the world’s largest (3-metre) and stinkiest flowers is native to Indonesia.  Surprisingly, despite the stench, its foul odour lures pollinators like flesh flies."

(Amorphophallus Titanum)

Titanium Arum 

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Blooming in the wetland soils of Eastern North America is accompanied by the stink of a dead skunk. Yet, beyond its stench, it holds medicinal properties for asthma, epilepsy, rheumatism, and cough.

(Amorphophallus Titanum)

Eastern Skunk Cabbage 

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Rafflesia Arnoldi

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

(Corpse Flower)

Meet Indonesia's national flower, towering at 1 metre, the world's largest single blossom. However, you can't ignore its red hue, devoid of foliage, emitting the stench of a rotten carcass.

Hydnora Africana

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

(Stinking root Parasite)

This South African flower stinks of faeces. It grows underground and entraps beetles with downward-pointing hairs before releasing them when it blooms.

Carob Tree

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

(Ceratonia siliqua)

Some may find the fragrance repulsive, while others may find it enticing. Surprisingly, its pods are used as a food source, and are often used as ersatz chocolate.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Not all orchids are sweet-smelling; this one is the largest of the lot and stinks of mice. Like the other foul-smelling flowers, even this one comes in handy to attract pollinators.

Bulbophyllum Phalaenopsis