How big is the biggest nice smelling flower?

From Issue: Discovery 7/1/2018


Dear Digger Doug,

How big is the biggest nice smelling flower?
—Ivy, age 7



Dear Ivy,

I think I know exactly why you asked about big, nice-smelling flowers. In a past issue of Discovery, we wrote about the biggest flower in the world. It is called the Rafflesia arnoldii, but it is sometimes called the rotting corpse lily. You can guess from its name that it does not smell good at all. In fact, it smells like rotting meat. Another huge flower, known as the Amorphophallus Titanum, also smells terrible, like rotting meat. The reason these flowers smell so bad is to attract flies, bugs, and beetles that pollinate the plants. So, let’s not talk anymore about these stinkers. What about good-smelling flowers? The truth is, most all of the flowers that smell nice are much smaller than the giant stinkers. In fact, it is really difficult to say which one is the largest. The Oriental lily has a large, beautiful bloom and smells wonderful. Also, hyacinths have a big group of smaller flowers that grow together to form a large bunch, and they smell great too. It is fitting that you would ask a question about flowers that gets answered in an issue about how our amazing God created beauty in this world.


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