Now that’s an erection!
A 6-and-a-half-foot-tall “penis plant” has bloomed in Europe for the first time in almost 25 years.
The imposing plant — an aptly named amorphophallus decus-silvae — flowered at the Leiden Hortus Botanicus in the Netherlands on Oct. 19, with excited crowds flocking to take in the phallic phenomenon.
The plant is native to the Indonesian island of Java, and is incredibly difficult to bloom — and emits a strong stench to boot.
According to botanists, this is only the third time in history that one of the stinky penis plants has flowered in Europe. The last recorded blooming on the continent occurred back in 1997.
The one currently in bloom at the Leiden Hortus Botanicus was planted by a Dutch gardener back in 2015. Volunteers lovingly tended to the shrub for six years before it finally flowered last week.
Leiden Hortus Botanicus officials wrote on their Instagram account: “Because the plant itself is so rare and few botanical gardens have the amorphophallus decus-silvae in their collection, observing a blooming plant is very special.”
“In years when the plant does not bloom, it collects energy by only making leaves and storing food in tubers. After blooming, the leaf growth cycle begins again.”
However, visitors hoping to see a plant closely resembling a phallus may not get exactly what they expected. Greenhouse manager Rogier van Vugt told Dutch broadcaster Omroep West: “The name amorphophallus actually means ‘shapeless penis.’”
However, he added: “With a little imagination you can indeed see a penis in the plant. It has in fact a long stem and on top is a typical arum with veins. And then in the center there is a thick white spadix.”
Pictures posted by Leiden Hortus Botanicus show that flower enthusiasts certainly weren’t disappointed.
Overjoyed tourists were seen standing on a step-ladder in order to take in the penis plant from all the right angles.
And while fans may have gone to great lengths to get a glimpse of the rare flower, they would also have been met with a foul odor.
According to the garden’s Instagram account, the flower has a “pungent smell of rotting flesh.”
The so-called penis plant is closely related to the amorphophallus titanum — which is commonly known as the “corpse flower”— and similarly omits a stinky odor.
The blooming of a corpse flower in the United States is a rare occurrence, and usually makes national headlines. The last recorded flowering took place in New York in 2018.