For the second summer in a row, a rare species of plant that produces the largest, smelliest bloom in the world is on the verge of blossoming at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. It's the Titan Arum -- or corpse plant -- and its on track to surpass a world record at 9 feet tall when it fully blooms around Labor Day Weekend. Pictured is last year's plant that soared to more than 5 feet high with the bulb alone weighing a hefty 40 pounds. Six years ago Disney gardeners began cultivating the plant when a collection of seed was donated to Walt Disney World Resort from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Fla. The original seeds were gathered from an expedition to Sumatra in 1992. In May 2004, Disney's collection of four Titan arums were repotted. Titan blooms only last for a few days before they topple over; it may take another year for the next bloom to come. The foul-smelling Titans can grow to reach more than twice the length of a human and the blooms can expand as big as 15 feet. The bulb itself can weigh up to 170 pounds.
Aug 27, 2005 /