- Amazon is growing a plant known as “the corpse flower” due to its smell, which resembles a rotting carcass.
- Once the flowers bloom, the tech giant will transport them to its new plant-filled Sphere offices in Seattle.
- The flowers’ smell, meant to mimic dead animals, attracts carnivorous insects and helps with pollination.
On Monday, at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, hundreds of employees had the option to work inside the company’s new greenery-filled Spheres. The glass domes – pitched as tranquil office spaces in the middle of the city – can hold around 40,000 plants.
One such plant is the titan arum, commonly known as “the corpse flower” for its pungent odor reminiscent of a rotting carcass. The flowers feature massive petals and a tall stem, typically weigh 55 to 110 pounds, and give off “Little Shop of Horror” vibes.
Amazon is growing several of these plants in its greenhouses, Fast Company reports. Once they bloom, the company will transport them to the Spheres.
Glenn Fleishman, the reporter of the Fast Company piece, describes the plant’s scent as “an invigorating smell of death.”
The flower’s stench, as well as its burgundy colour, encourages pollination from dung beetles, flesh flies, and other carnivorous insects that eat dead flesh. To further attract them, titan arums can warm up to 98 degrees Fahrenheit. After the insects fly in and realise there’s no food, they fly off with pollen on their legs, ensuring the continuation of the flower’s species, according to the University of California Botanical Garden. The plant feeds on soil, air, and water.
The plant usually grows to six to eight feet tall, and its leaves can measure up to 16 feet wide. In 2010, the tallest “corpse flower” ever bloomed at Winnipesaukee Orchids in Gilford, New Hampshire, according to Guinness World Records.
Amazon’s Spheres can fit about 800 people, and the company’s 40,000-plus Seattle-area employees have reserved all the available time slots through April .
Fortunately, the “corpse flower” stench only lasts for 24 to 36 hours while it blooms.
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