Amorphophallus titanum, the famous Titan Arum.
Its well-known flowering stage can reach up to 3 metres (10 feet) tall
The actual flowers are tiny and hidden away at the base of the spike (spadix), surrounded by the big, colourful leaf (spathe). There’s loads of them!
The flowering structure only lasts a couple days before it wilts away, leaving behind berries with the seeds inside.
When not in flower, the Titan Arum sends up a single, huge leaf which splits into lots of leaflets so it looks like a tree. It can reach 6 metres (20 feet) tall. This massive leaf grows and dies away each year, and it can take the best part of a decade before the Titan Arum acquires enough energy to flower for the first time.
Finally, the corm. This bulbous, underground blob is the real plant. The leaves and the flowers come and go each year, but its immortal soul resides beneath.
Images: James Gaither/Barry Rice/duncan c/Smithsonian
the only girl I ever loved, was born with roses in her eyes
but then they buried her alive, one evening 1945. [x]