Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Titan Arum, Bunga Bangkai (Corpse Flower)
Amorphophallus titanum

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Amorphophallus (a-mor-fo-FAL-us) (Info)
Species: titanum

31 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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10 positives
3 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Cheese100 On Sep 27, 2012, Cheese100 from Brisbane
Australia wrote:

I am giving it a positive, because when I received my very first one, it only cost me $59! Not to mention that it was already a year old and looked very healthy. I have had it for about two weeks now. The guy I bought it from said that it's dormancies what're out of whack and that it goes dormant in summer and grows in winter, well it's getting into summer weather now and it is still going strong. I am hoping to get a clipping to propagate before it goes dormant. Ever since I got it my brother has been asking if he may get one too and I said that if he was nice while the seeds are ripening then he may have 3. I reckon that so long as it's requirements are met than it is a relatively easy plant to grow.

Positive napoleonm On Apr 8, 2011, napoleonm from Saint Louis, MO wrote:

Amorphophallus titanum also known as titan arum should not be grown as a houseplant. It is large, sometimes, reaching 20 ft high but ideal in a botanical garden private or public owned. When the corm is mature it may bloom every three or four years. Most botanical gardens in the USA has one but this year not one has started to bloom, hopefully in the summer. When one is in bloom, it becomes a huge event, people lining up to see the bloom (more of a beautiful sculpture).

If are interested in obtaining one or two, please let me know (314-469-1157)

Positive smurfwv On Feb 25, 2011, smurfwv from Cabin Creek, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have been watching for this plant on Ebay for a while now. Every auction I have seen on ebay for titan arum was for 3 inch bulbs and smaller. Note that these tiny tubers have sold for anywhere from $62 all the way up to a recent auction which ended at $505 for a 3 inch tuber. Please do not waste tons of money on one tiny titanum tuber! I bought a 4pound tuber which is 8 inches across from if you're going to buy one get your money's worth!

I highly recommend that you do online research about this plant, it can grow 15 feet tall, do you have room? The tuber must never dry out, but never be soaking wet, can you provide this? The huge leaf needs protection from high winds, can you offer this? PLease read up on titan arums before spending money on one. My 4 pound tuber was $106, but you must have experience with tropicals to grow amorphophallus.

I forgot to add, the tuber must never be kept below 60 degrees F*. This is year round, and it must remail in the warm moist soil at all times

Neutral Actee On Apr 3, 2010, Actee from Paris
France wrote:

A. titanum seems to be addict of hot temperatures and light. I got 2 growing in large pots, full of forest compost (pH 6) with some coated fertilised mixed within the soil. It grows fast and healthy (even in a dry air). But it grows so high, oh boy ! After 3 years of growing, the biggest reaches 6' tall, with a leaf stem as large as an arm. Next leaf will be very problematic. This is the reason for I rate it as "neutral". But I do not consider it to be harsh to grow, just cumbersome...

Positive BobGoblin On Jan 28, 2009, BobGoblin from Vinton, LA wrote:

I grow Amorphophallus Titanum in a greenhouse with 80% shade, but supplement this with fluorescent lighting. I ordered mine as a small, 6" plant, early summer of 2007. It went dormant that winter, resprouted this past summer 2008 and is still in active growth this winter. It is now approx 12" tall and has produced a second sprout. I keep a terrarium warmer pad under its pot during cooler months, since titanum likes it hot. I do not find it has been that difficult to grow (so far--I'll keep everyone posted if it does well or if I manage to kill it!). I use a mixture of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 potting medium, and 1/3 perlite, and have it in a clay pot. I sterilized my potting medium in my oven at 175 degrees F for 45 minutes after reading articles about how easy it was to rot the tuber. I water when the soil appears dry on top during active growth. I withhold all watering when the plant goes dormant. I have read that titanum does not go dormant yearly as do my amorphophallus paeonifolius and konjac, and thus far this winter that seems true. I read one of LariAnn Garner's articles about using mycorrhizae and have recently ordered some to try on select tropicals I grow. Amorphophallus titanum will be my very first plant to receive this treatment. As for this being a hard plant to grow--I think hard is a relative term--we all have certain select plants that are difficult to grow. I have an easy time--thus far--growing titanum, but have killed my fair share of jewel alocasias in the past; so if you're wanting to give this plant a try I say go for it!

Neutral evr On Sep 3, 2008, evr from Toronto, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

lol I just noticed that "Bunga Bangkai" when translated in Tagalog is "Corpse Flower" -_-. It's just the grammar is different. NOTE: Tagalog can be grouped with the Malay and Indo languages.

I've been reading it as bun-ga bang-kay as suppose to boo-nga bang-kuy (suppose to be all short "a"s), because I'm used to reading English and my accent is also westernized.

Also when translated, "bunga" means bloom or fruit, depending on what plant you're talking about. Well usually we use "bunga" when describing a fruiting tree.

On the other hand, when "corpse flower" is translated to Tagalog word by word it's "Bangkay bulaklak" (boo-luck-luck).

Perhaps "Bunga Bangkai" is from a Malay or Indo-group origin? LOL enough about the etiology of the name. Haven't seen one of this up close, looking forward to seeing and smelling one -_-. I don't know if there's one in Canada though. hmmm.

Positive mochimo On Mar 15, 2008, mochimo from MIddle Blue
Indonesia wrote:

I have found one during my exploration on Borneo forest. We are settle down a camp site without noticing it. I was attracted with slight rooten smells. I searched and I got totally amazed! Bunga bangkai with 2,5 meter high and 1 meter wide. It blooming! Once in 10 years is a special moment, even in our region. Not all people could see these experience.

Positive CAT123 On Aug 1, 2007, CAT123 from Aripeka, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I Have Amorphophallus bulbifer and amorphophallus. paeonifolius snake lily and voodoo lily the voodo lily really stinks I've been growing them in clay pots for about 10 years its amazing how much the blubs have grown in size its exciting to check each spring I dump them out and repot when I see new growth where ever they start growing they need to stay in that spot they don't take changes very well as far as sun or shade . and when they go dormant I put them on a shelf in my shed and don't touch them again till spring no water whatsoever till spring I now have about 20 of them they propagate in all kinds of ways blubs on the leaves off the sides of the blub and off the flower lack of a better word (phallus and red cabbage looking thing) very easy but tempermental Cathys Gardens Aripeka Florida 34679

Positive JamesPark On Dec 17, 2006, JamesPark from Auckland
New Zealand (Zone 9a) wrote:

Actually, with adequate care, Amorphophallus Titanum is rather straightforward. You can purchase seeds on Ebay which are a rather good price and you may even be able to get a germinated seed (it takes 6 months). Nematodes etc will NOT be a problem if you sterilise you compost (which should be well drained) with boiling water. I live in a rather difficult place to grow plants like this but have suceeded very well. The seed you need to purchase must ne damp. Good Luck!

Negative c_etude On Nov 19, 2005, c_etude from Winter Haven, FL wrote:

I said "negative" only because it is *very* difficult to grow.

(1) A single tuber is very expensive. It is highly prone to fungal infection no matter what you do.

(2) If you water it even a little too much, it will die; not enough it dies. So far my third attempt it is finally growing (that makes 3 plants I bought; two of them have died)--but only in a greenhouse under artificial light. Perhaps because I'm living in Florida and it gets too hot??? who knows.

(3) If you decide to get this plant, KNOW IT IS A GAMBLE. But having seen a tiny new leaf coming from the base, it was almost ecstatic. I *finally* got this thing going.

If you want to grow a corpse flower, get an Amorphophallus konjac-now that one thrives and makes lots of new tuber shoots-and thrives without any special treatment and outside.

The Amorphophallus titanum is HARD TO GROW, and I cannot emphasize that, and it's EXPENSIVE to get. Only for these reasons I gave it a negative rating.

Positive Yuska On Nov 7, 2004, Yuska from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant bloomed in the arboreteum of the Stephen F. Austin University in Nagadoches, Texas in July 2004. It is called the corpse flower because for several hours after opening the perfume smells like rotting flesh. In Indonesia the flowering plant sometimes towers over nine feet and the blossom may remain open 48 hours. The plant grows from a corm. The woman in the picture is my friend Bonnie, a Master Gardener. Yuska

Positive nuljin On Aug 19, 2004, nuljin from lendelede
Belgium wrote:

On the 20th of June 2004 I planted 6 seeds I received from Troy Davis, they were saved from agricultural devolopment in Indonesia. Planting of the seeds is rather time-consuming, since Amorphophallus ssp. develop a tuber and this particular species is sensitive to fungal attack and nematodes. This requires for a near-sterile environment.
The soil consists of sterilised leafmould with perlite added for drainage. After choosing a pot of about 15 cm diameter and 25 cm high it is filled with the sterilised composed. A handfull of the soil is then skooped out to leave a depression the size of a small fist. This depression is filled with washed sand (can be either course or sharp) and the pot is then further covered with a centimeter of sand.
The reason for the sandpocket is the plant's sensitivity to wet soil. The medium should not dry out, but can't be sogging wet either. If watering becomes necessary, it is done with a diluted addition of fertiliser ( I prefer orchid-fertiliser for most of my plants ). Adding fertiliser is really important because seedling survival depends on the size of the tuber during it's first dormancy. After watering, the pot is placed on an old newspaper for an hour to leech out the excess moisture.
Temperature and humidity-requirements are tropical, the plant develops best at 27 Centigrade and in a humidity of 80%.
The seed is pushed in the middle of the sandpocket untill it is burried by about 5 millimeter of sand, seed orientation isn't really an issue. After a week up to a month small white roots will be visible on the sand that radiate away from the seed. After another 2 weeks the shoot-tip will be visible and the first protective leaf will start to develop.
In this stage, the grower's patience is really tested, as growth is slow until the third protective leaf. My first seedling developped 4 protective leaves ( see photo ) with the tip reaching 22 cm above soil-level, after which the leaf starts emerging and growth starts speeding up - up to 1.5 cm per day.


Neutral NatureWalker On Jul 10, 2004, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Yes; I too was watching it for several weeks. Even in the middle of the night when, my illness woke me up.
I agree that it was something extrodinary.
But my comment is 'Neutral' becuse I saw something happen on Tuesday night, July 6th, 2004 at 3:09 AM; that shouldn't have been going on.
I agree that the plant was his; and to him it was an experiment. I was waiting to see something spectacular like that bloom; but what I saw, was him putting his hand down into the budding plant to 'take a specimen' of some sort.
The bud was opening at the time.
The plant must have found this to be intrusive. This was not good for the plant.
I noticed that after he did that; the bud started to close back up again, and never fully opened the way it should have.
What a 'Shame.' On him!

Positive gardenmart On Jul 9, 2004, gardenmart from Saugus, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I viewed an example of this plant at the University of Connecticut's greenhouse in Storrs, CT on July 7, 2004. This is a rare specimen germinated from seed brought back from Sumatra. It is one of two being grown by UConn. It is completely tropical, growing mainly in the wild in openings in the rainforest. The specimen pictured here took 10 years to achieve flowering size. It opened for about 2-1/2 days and was hand pollinated by the greenhouse staff with pollen from a plant that had bloomed in California the previous year. It is unknown at this time if it has set viable seed. It was an amazing experience!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Aripeka, Florida
Bartow, Florida
Deerfield Beach, Florida
Guyton, Georgia
Vinton, Louisiana
Poughkeepsie, New York
Red Oak, Texas
Cabin Creek, West Virginia

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