The quest for the stink flower
Field trip!by Dave McAwesome
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden recently played home to a blooming Titan Arum (aka corpse flower), the biggest--and stinkiest--flower in the world. A lot of New York media headline writers went orgasmic at the prospect of playing off the title of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Yeah, yeah, we GET it. "A Flower Blooms in Brooklyn." "A Titan Stinks in Brooklyn." Way to go, Hackasaurus Rex.
The Titan Arum belongs to the Arum family of plants which not only includes the largest flower (Titan) but also one of the smallest (duckweed). What that tells ME is that some plantologists made a mistake when categorizing plants within the Arum family.
Since the blooming of a Titan Arum is a rare event, I saddled up the nearest iron pony with my trusty Crapton 9000 digital camera. It'll be just like a fourth grade field trip but without the permission slips!
First off, we have the desert pumpkin. Out in the world's dry and dessicated regions, like the Sahara, Vegas, or Clint Eastwood's scalp, they celebrate Halloween just like we do. Sure, kids have bled to death from trying to carve the Spiky Desert Pumpkin, but they learned an important lesson in the process: Don't carve the Spiky Desert Pumpkin.
This is the graffiti cactus. It's amazing to watch it grow as lines like "Amber luvs Jose 4eva" appear on its broad green stalk.
These are genetic experimentations sponsored by General Mills and Kellogg's. They're what plants would look like if Nature were a breakfast cereal factory employee.
These are dragonflies. They're just babies. In time, they will grow to their typical 32-foot wingspan, fly into space and battle Mecha-Godzilla.
Hey...sniff, sniff...I smell pus--...Oh, look! Fish!
Here's the Titan Arum itself. I'm sorry, kids. It didn't smell that bad. Word is the stink factor doesn't kick in until late at night. You know what that means: midnight kegger!
The following picture is an example of pure beauty. The other is the exact opposite. You decide which is which.