Sketch of the Day: Warm Greenhouse with Corpse Flower

A tropical greenhouse is a good place to take refuge on a November day. A Victorian brooch of a greenhouse is pinned to the bosom of the Copenhagen Botanical Garden.
In Copenhagen today wind blustered and cold rain spit, but in the Botanical Garden’s greenhouse, palm trees, pitcher plants and tiny singing frogs offered a welcome as warm as a large cup of glogg.  Next to a pond stood a potted Amorphophallus titanum, a.k.a. Corpse Flower, growing a three-foot tall unopened floral spike. Titanum has the world’s largest unbranched flower that’s not only big, it stinks like a dead animal gone putrid. Which is fantastically attractive to its carrion beetle and fly pollinators. So, if you’re in Copenhagen this June, go the Botanical Garden and catch this spectacular flower in bloom. Or, give the Garden a wide berth and stay upwind, because something will smell rotten in Denmark. Watercolor over pencil, Stillman & Birn 8 1/2″ x 11″ Alpha Series hardbound sketchbook.

4 thoughts on “Sketch of the Day: Warm Greenhouse with Corpse Flower

  1. matthias1982 says:

    I saw the plant bloom this summer in Kiel, northern Germany, and it opens its flower only for one day! Quite a lot of work for such a short time… especially since it flowers very irregularly only once every few years… beautiful sketch by the way!! 🙂

    1. zeladoniac says:

      Yes, a LOT of build-up to such a short bloom span. Any good description of the odor you’d like to share? How fantastic to see it. The flower can get up to 10 feet tall, from what I’ve read. Thank you for the note!

      1. matthias1982 says:

        well – the flower started to bloom on saturday around noon and I got there on sunday morning and actually it was already shrinking and the odor was not particularly bad in my opinion. The ladies working in the botanical garden said that the same plant bloomed already in 2012 (I think) and then the smell was REALLY bad – so bad that the employees could not stand next to the plant for a longer time to answer the questions of the visitors… this year it was much better… or less spectacular – whatever you prefer 🙂

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