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It's all in the nose of the beholder
January 10, 2006 9:16 AM   Subscribe

What parasite is a meter across, weighs 10 kg, and stinks to high heaven? None other than Rafflesia arnoldii, a remarkable parasitic plant. As amazing and smelly as it is, it's not the only funky flower. There's plenty of stinky fruit to go around too, such as the much-maligned ginkgo nut and the infamous king of fruits, the durian.
posted by Marit (27 comments total)

 
Heyyyyyayyyy

Very cool and pretty first picture, too, thanks.
posted by Peter H at 9:26 AM on January 10, 2006


Calls to mind the corpse flower.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:28 AM on January 10, 2006


that thing creeps me out. I wouldn't get within 10 feet of it.
posted by shmegegge at 9:29 AM on January 10, 2006


Marit: "What parasite is a meter across, weighs 10 kg, and stinks to high heaven?"

A one-month-old?
posted by Plutor at 9:30 AM on January 10, 2006


that would be a huge baby.
posted by shmegegge at 9:33 AM on January 10, 2006


Huh, I just saw Michael Palin eat a Durian on "Full Circle" last night. What are the odds.
posted by Otis at 9:51 AM on January 10, 2006


Great post, thanks Marit!

That parasite flower is going to replace the whale in my nightmares.
posted by parallax7d at 9:52 AM on January 10, 2006


that thing creeps me out. I wouldn't get within 10 feet of it.

Strangely enough - it was the first thought I had too.
Like worse than the one in the Little Barber Shop of Horrors.

I'm so glad the guy in the second link decided to adorn his daughter (I assume) with one of the plants though.
posted by 13twelve at 9:55 AM on January 10, 2006


that thing creeps me out. I wouldn't get within 10 feet of it.

I certainly wouldn't be putting my head as close as the guy in the photo.

Hasn't he ever read Day of the Triffids, or watched Little Shop of Horrors?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:00 AM on January 10, 2006


What my boss said
"It sorta looks like they photoshop'd up the size of the plant and then shoved a young Jonathon Ross next to it"
posted by 13twelve at 10:07 AM on January 10, 2006


And, great minds think alike eh shmegegge & PeterMcDermott ?
posted by 13twelve at 10:08 AM on January 10, 2006


Ah, the Amorphusphallus Titanum -- or the Huge Shapeless Penis plant. So let's hear it for the people who name these plants.

People like Ken Shackel, UC-Davis pomologist.

(Sadly, that actually reads p-o-m-o. For a moment, I had high hopes of a new career in pornology.)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:14 AM on January 10, 2006


Every grocery store within eight blocks of my house (in the "Little Chinatown" area of Vancouver) sells durian (frozen in the off-season, fresh in season). Both gelato shops near my place sell durian gelato. Smells like rotten meat, tastes like fruity brie, but only sorta.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:47 AM on January 10, 2006


If it looks like a man-eating plant then it probably is a man-eating plant.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:01 AM on January 10, 2006


I love durian. A combination or brie, onion and mango, I thought. Smells like natural gas.

The voodoo lily is a wonderful plant. The stench-blossom dies off after a bit and a lovely, non-smelly stalk grows in it's place. Nice foliage.
posted by apis mellifera at 11:06 AM on January 10, 2006


dear god... these plants are creeping my ish out.
posted by cusack at 11:23 AM on January 10, 2006


Those are amazing pictures. I liked the "fly's eye view."
posted by pithy comment at 11:29 AM on January 10, 2006


Great post! Thanks.
posted by peacay at 11:37 AM on January 10, 2006


I want to eat it.
posted by stackmonster at 12:15 PM on January 10, 2006


Some brilliant person planted a Gingko right outside the cafe at my college. Each spring, we used to enjoy the pungent vomit scent during our meals.
posted by Uccellina at 1:01 PM on January 10, 2006


good post.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:12 PM on January 10, 2006


I want to eat it.

The feeling, I'm sure, is mutual.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:15 PM on January 10, 2006


I just wanna say that if anybody ever has excess durian that they wanna get rid of...well, I could probably eat 10 in one sitting. That's a mighty finnnnne stinky fruit.
posted by stray at 1:17 PM on January 10, 2006


Terrific post, Marit.
posted by maryh at 2:22 PM on January 10, 2006


I've had durian, it's not very nice. I was amazed (and amused) to find that Dunkin Donuts in Denpasar had durian flavoured donuts. No, I didn't get one.
posted by The Monkey at 3:28 PM on January 10, 2006


How much durian should you eat in one day?
posted by micketymoc at 7:27 PM on January 10, 2006


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say none.
posted by The Monkey at 2:34 PM on January 11, 2006


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