Copenhagen’s ‘stinky penis’ flower rises again

Amorphophallus Titanum, also known as Titan’s Penis, is blooming again at the Botanical Gardens of Copenhagen.

Copenhagen’s ‘stinky penis’ flower rises again
The flower as seen in 2014 – note the young girl plugging her nose to avoid the stench. Photo: Claus Bech/Scanpix
The huge phallic-shaped flower, which is native to the rain forests of Indonesia, can lay dormant for as long as 15 years. But the one in Copenhagen is blooming for the third time in six years, much to the delight of visitors and staff. 
Rasmus Kloster, a gardener who takes care of the plant, said in a press release that while no one can say for certain why Copenhagen's ‘penis flower’ is so fond of exposing itself, he thinks the Botanical Garden’s care of the plant may play a role. 
“It’s happening because we are incredibly lucky. We have a genetically magnificent specimen and it is cared for to our best abilities. I sometimes give the plant a homemade fertilizer cocktail – the contents of which I don’t want to fully reveal – that most certainly benefits the plant,” he said. 
“But genetics play a major role and now that it has bloomed for the third time in six years, we can almost set a clock to it and I won’t be surprised if it blooms again in another two years,” Kloster added. 
When the flower bloomed in 2014 it reached a height of 1.91 metres and a diameter of 95cm. Kloster expects it to grow slightly higher this year to top two metres. 
The Botanical Gardens have established a pop-up exhibition at its Palmehuset, where visitors can observe the penis flower in its full glory for just 20 kroner (10 kroner for kids). But curious souls be warned: the flower is also known for its death-like stench, which has also earned it the moniker “The Corpse Flower”.
A timelapse video of the flower’s 2014 blooming can be seen here: 


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Why 30 percent of Denmark could be left to nature

A Danish environmental organization has received a positive political response over a proposal to ensure 30 percent of Denmark be reserved for nature.

Why 30 percent of Denmark could be left to nature
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish Society for Nature Conservation (Danmarks Naturfredningsforening, DN) wants the country’s nature to be written into law by way of an obligation to ensure 30 percent of Danish land to be nature reserve by 2031, DR reports.

The proposal was made as government politicians met at Marienborg, the official residence of the prime minister, on Monday for talks on biodiversity.

The concept of such a ‘biodiversity law’, which would place binding targets for Denmark on the area, was initially positively received.

The interest organization for the agriculture sector, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, has said it also supports biodiversity goals, while environment minister Lea Wermelin said she would listen to suggestions regarding both targets and legislation.

“Fundamentally, the biggest task right now is to reverse nature’s decline and ensure that over 2,000 species threatened by extinction get a helping hand and the chance to remain in Denmark,” DN president Maria Reumert Gjerding said to DR.

“So it’s crucial that politicians make commitments to nature targets,” she added.

The Marienborg meeting is the beginning of government work to implement a ‘package’ of laws on nature and biodiversity, which the Social Democratic government promised prior to the June general election.

Wermelin said action must be taken to prevent Denmark from entering a “natural crisis”.

“We are genuinely interested in a new process to form a long-term plan for Denmark’s nature. Although reports paint a bleak picture, they also say it’s possible to set a new, green direction,” she added.

The minister welcomed “specific ideas and wishes” from environmental organizations that could help in making such a plan, DR reports.

Although only 0.4 percent of the area of Denmark is currently wild nature, DN says the target could be reached by buying or renting land from landowners and leaving it to nature, as well as by ensuring a specified amount of agricultural land actively benefits biodiversity.

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