What better time to celebrate the corpse flower than in a Halloween week Wonder Wednesday? I love how everyone embraces the creepy at Halloween!
But what is a corpse flower you ask? Well, it’s the best of Mother Nature’s Halloween flowers! A first treat is it looks beautiful, but on closer inspection the trick is it smells like a rotting corpse! (I’ll take the botanists word for it.)
The flower stinks because it’s pollinated by flies and other insects who feed on dead animals and lay eggs in rotting meat, not by bees or butterflies- what a giant beautiful prank!
The trick-or-treat flower of nature! photo credit
The “corpse flower” (Amorphophallus titanum) boasts the largest flower (technically unbranched inflorescence) in the entire world, soaring to over 10 feet in height!
Life cycle of the corpse…flower. Photo credit
The corpse flower is native to Sumatra and Java and, in the wild, holds an endangered status. In cultivation, it takes 7-10 years to bloom, only blooms every 2-3 years, and the bloom only lasts 12 hours up to a maximum of 48 hours at best.
Ew!! So stinky! photo credit
All that work for the trick of flowering so infrequently, and with a smell most potent at night. Perhaps Mother Nature knew we humans could only handle a quick dose while we slept of a giant flower that smells like rotting flesh, so that was her treat!
Learn the science behind the stink! Photo credit
When a botanical garden has a corpse flower in bloom it is hot topic! People flock to see (and smell) this bizarre species of flora. But now you can celebrate the most Halloween of all flowers all year long with this month’s Wonder Wednesday activity!
This crowd enjoys a corpse flower in Raleigh, NC photo credit
So let’s draw a corpse flower for Halloween!
Wonder Wednesday 86:
Draw a Corpse Flower
- A reference of a corpse flower
- Optional: Markers, color pencils, or paint
This flower bloomed at the US Botanical Garden Photo Credit
- Draw a ‘U” shape in the center of a vertically oriented page.
2. Draw a diagonal lien up from the bottom of the “U”. Then draw a ruffle halo connecting the tops of the “U”. Leave a little space at the top center of the halo for the central spath.
3. Draw the center spath in the shape of a narrow upside down “U” shape.
4. Add a few ruffley details.This makes the flower look dimensional like it’s folding and curling over.
5. Draw 2 lines down from the base of the “U” for the stalk of the flower.
6. Add some textural dots and lines for detail.
7. Add some leafy details at the base of the stalk and color if you like!
Luckily we won’t add smell, but you could hang your drawing over your compost pile!
Have you ever seen and smelled a corpse flower in person?
Share your experience in the comments below!
Share your corpse flower drawings on Instagram #wingswormsandwonder so we all can see!
Seeds to Sprout
Join one of my online classes and inspire your sensory observation skills and nature journaling practice! There are many classes for all ages, ability levels, time constraints, and price points – starting at Free!
Use my 12 Month Art and Nature Journal Workbook as a Nature Journal or nature based 2020 planner! The 30 Day Thumbnail Sketch pages included in each month would be perfect for this practice! The workbook is only $10 and ships worldwide!