One interesting example is the Corpse flower, or Titan Arum. The Corpse flower was found by the Italian botanist Odoardo Beccari in 1878 near a Sumatran rain forest. It rarely blooms in the wild. Upon blooming, the plant emits a foul odor. This odor coupled with its deep red color, attracts beetles and flesh flies for pollination. The time between blooming varies; however, thanks to improved pollination techniques there are more Corpse flowers in cultivation.
The kurinji flower is another one that blooms only once every 12 years. It is found in India, in the Western Ghat mountain range and on the Nilgiri Hills. It has pretty purple flowers with a black stem, but its numbers are dwindling due to increased human development and competition from invasive species.
The agave americana can take up to 15 years to be able to fully bloom. It remains in bloom for about a month before the whole thing dies off. It makes sense, then, that this plant is often times referred to as the “century plant.”
Below is the plant in bloom:
Photo Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Agave_americana_inflorescencias.jpg
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