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Betty the Butterfly's Blog >>

Sniffing Out The Stink Lily


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There are hundreds and thousands of different species of plant around the world and like animals, their primary focus in life is to reproduce in order to ensure the continued survival of their species for generations to come. Plants however, are static and so rely on help to both spread their seed and for pollination.

Numerous factors assist in the reproduction of plants including windy weather but it is the attraction of insects that is the primary focus of most (if not all) of the plants found all around the world. One of the most obvious methods that plants use is to produce brightly coloured petals or a sweet-smelling scent that guarantees interest from bugs.



 
A slightly different approach though is taken by a number of different species as although they do indeed produce a scent to attract insects to pollinate them, these scents are far from sweet and instead are equal to the putrid stench of carrion or rotting meat. Despite sounding disgusting (and some may think it puts insects off), it is an affective method to use as a number of insect species are indeed attracted to the smell.

This type of plant includes both the largest and tallest flowers in the world, which are the metre wide Rafflesia (found throughout south-east Asia) and the giant Titan anum, which is also commonly known as the "Corpse flower" and is only found in the rainforests of western Sumatra in Indonesia. There are numerous other species within this group that are generally all large in size, with one of the most common being Amorphophallus paenifolius.



 
The Elephant Foot Yam (or Stink Lily) as they are also known is found growing naturally throughout a number of tropical countries from Madagascar, right through to south-east Asia, and as the name suggests, these plants produce a putrid carrion smell to attract flies to pollinate them. Capable of growing to more than four of five foot in size, these giants not only go through a number of stages during their life-cycle but they have also become popular for cultivation in numerous regions around the world.

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