Penis plant in bloom in Leiden; Third time ever in Europe
The penis plant is in bloom in the Tropical Greenhouses of the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden. As far as the Hortus botanists know, this is only the third time that an Amorphophallus decus-silvae has bloomed in Europe.
The penis plant that is now blooming is six years old and raised by a volunteer who works in the greenhouses. In mid-September, it became clear that the plant was going to flower. The Amorphophallus decus-silvae flowers in two phases. The first is the female inflorescence, and that smells very bad, according to the Hortus. This attracts insects, which become covered with pollen during the male phase of the flowering. In bloom, the plant has a long stem with a phallus-like part of about half a meter on top. This part, in particular, emits the stench.
The penis plant last flowered in Leiden in 1997. The Hortus in Leiden also has a giant penis plant. These plants only bloom in an environment that is very warm and fairly humid.
Reporting by ANP