Blooming corpse flower in Sembawang cut down
SINGAPORE – A large, putrid flower of an exotic plant known as the elephant foot yam, initially found blooming at the foot of a Housing Board block in Sembawang, has been cut down.
Dr Lim Wee Kiak, an MP for Sembawang GRC, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (June 8) that he was sad to learn that the corpse flower – so-called for the stench it emits – had been removed.
“I hope all of us can be more gracious, more respectful and more caring towards nature,” Dr Lim said. “We have so much natural beauty here, especially in Sembawang, that we can admire and enjoy together.”
The flower bloomed on Sunday, he said.
Following a number of social media posts about the phenomenon, many people were seen flocking to Block 338 Sembawang Crescent to take photographs of the unusual sight. Some of the posts said the size of the flower spanned almost half a metre.
The elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius), which can be found naturally in several countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Madagascar, is non-native to Singapore.
It is valued as an ornamental plant in Singapore, said the National Parks Board on its website.
The Republic is also home to a number of other plants that smell of decay.
They include native plants like the voodoo lily (Amorphophallus prainii) and orchids named after the Greek monster Medusa (Bulbophyllum medusae), The Straits Times reported last October.
The native voodoo lily, for example, emits a putrid odour from late afternoon, to attract potential pollinators such as carrion flies and beetles.
Corpse flowers tend to lure insects that lay their eggs on animal carcasses or rotting vegetation. Insects, mostly various groups of flies and beetles, are attracted to such flowers because of the stench, which is similar to that of a decomposing animal.
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