'Penis plant' that smells like rotting meat blooms for first time in 24 years

The rare “penis plant,” native to the hot and humid conditions of the Indonesian rainforests, came into full bloom this week before quickly withering

The rare “penis plant” comes from the Indonesian rainforests (

Image: LEX VAN LIESHOUT / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)

Visitors to the Botanical Gardens, who were not deterred by the foul smell, got a rare pleasure when a “penis plant” bloomed for the first time in almost 25 years.

Typically, the Amorphophallus decus-silvae, native to Indonesian rainforests, needs hot and humid conditions, but to the surprise of gardeners, one bloomed in a Dutch botanical garden.

Named for its phallic shape, the penis plant began to bloom on October 22nd in the Hortus Botanicus Leiden and then came into full bloom this last week.

This was a special moment for lovers because, according to the Leiden Botanical Garden, the plant has only flowered for the third time in Europe.

The “penis plant” came into full bloom this week in a Dutch botanical garden
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Image:

ANP / AFP via Getty Images)

And the last time it happened in the Leiden Gardens was in 1997.

After flowering, however, the plant had already “shrunk,” said Roos Kocken, a volunteer in the gardens, in a TikTok post Daily mail.

She added, “It’s actually still nice.”

Another volunteer, Rudmer Postma, took care of the plant and a bud was first noticed in the middle of last month, sprouting up to nearly 60 cm in length with a narrow 6 foot 7 inch long stem.

It was a big attraction this week at the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden
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Image:

ANP / AFP via Getty Images)

Botanists then longingly await the foul smell that comes next and is the sign that the plant is about to bloom, whereby the smell attracts flies.

This is the female part of the flower, where the white flower head, called the inflorescence, warms up and gives off the unpleasant smell.

Flies come because of the smell and in the male phase the plant produces pollen which is carried away by the insects.

While in nature the flies carry the pollen to another similar flowering plant, there is only one Amorphophallus decus-silvae in the Leiden gardens and so the pollen is collected by employees and shared with other botanical centers.

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