Thursday, February 23, 2012

And the 2012 Academy Award Winner Elaine Lockey
Don’t you wish there was a category at the Academy Awards for best botanic movie? Most stunning landscape background?  Best use of a plant in a scene? Me too.  So since there isn’t, I went in search of a plant with star power that I think could shine in a future movie.

And so my selection for the winner of this year's award for most movie-worthy plant would be the Rafflesia arnoldii.  Its common name is Corpse Flower.  It also happens to have the world's largest flower.

Found in the rainforests of Indonesia, the Rafflesia is over 3 feet across and weighs 15lbs.  It’s considered a parasitic plant that survives by living off the host that it attaches to for water and nutrients.  It has no roots or leaves as it doesn’t need them. Some might call it beautiful but most would not find its odor attractive.

This is where this plant could really fit into a movie plot.  In order to attract pollinators such as carrion-flies, it emits a horrific stench of rotting meat when in bloom. I can see the scene now: someone smells a really bad stench coming from the house next door.  Neighbors have been suspecting that the quiet man with the immaculate garden is up to no good. The police arrive and expect to find foul play and even a dead body.  The smell leads them to the greenhouse and as they move some palm leaves aside they see a red...
And the smell is coming from…
a flower? 
Ah, fooled by the Rafflesia everytime.

photo courtesy of