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ROMERO THE CORPSE FLOWER & WHY IT IS EXCITING!

Some Photos taken from Phipps Conservatory Instagram
  1. Meet Romero, he's a corpse flower!
    Also known as the Titan arum, a member of the Araceae family.
  2. He's having a very exciting week! He's about to bloom!
    When the corpse flower blooms it has the LARGEST INFLORESCENCE IN THE WORLD! (An inflorescence is a cluster of flowers)
  3. And when a corpse flower blooms there's a VERY obvious way to tell...
  4. But first some background to explain WHY there's this obvious tell:
  5. Most plants require pollinators to help out with their reproduction, most of the time pollinators are bees, birds, and butterflies- but Corpse Flowers use flies.
  6. What kind of smells do flies like? Smells of death and poop of course!
  7. A lovely example of coevolution- the corpse flowers have developed a sumptuous sulfur scent to attract the flies which pollinate them.
    Coevolution is the phenomena when two unrelated species develop adaptations in relation to each other. For example, flowers with distinctive markings in the UV spectrum and bees that can see in the UV spectrum.
  8. Romero is gonna STINK.
    Did you know that some humans are not sensitive to sulphur smells? Skunks, farts, and corpse flowers are no big deal to those of us.
  9. Corpse Flowers bloom every 7-10 years, so when they bloom it's a BIG DEAL!
    Here I am with Romero in 2013
  10. Romero is named after Oscar Romero, Pittsburgh native and famous director of Night of the Living Dead
    Appropriate, right?!
  11. More about Corpse Flowers:
  12. So that phallic projection is the inflorescence of flowers, referred to as a spadix, the large leaf surrounding it is a specialized bract called a spathe.
    Fun fact: the name Amorphophallus titanum translates to giant misshapen penis
  13. Corpse Flowers are native to Sumatra
  14. Here's one of my favorite people in the world posing with a Corpse Flower
  15. So anyone near the Pittsburgh area should come to Phipps Conservatory to visit Romero when he blooms for real!
    Also, as a constantly overheated individual I LOVE the fact that Phipps stays open late for events like this. It's cooler and I love seeing the exhibits at night!!