La de da de da, sang the Arum
As she rustled her giant leaves
It was her seventh birthday today
And she was oh so very pleased!
She was feeling especially grand today
As she nestled her very first bud
She was going to flower any day
A thing of beauty rising from the mud.
That night when the moon was high in the sky
In the lush rainforest of Sumatra
The Titan Arum sat in prideful state
As her bud blossomed into flower
She giggled and shook her big big leaves
Sending out waves of her special pong
Her smell reminds some of smelly cheese
Others of socks that have been worn too long!
The rotting smell is a sweet bouquet
For dung beetles and flesh flies
They settle onto the new bloom
Inhaling her smells with happy sighs
The magnificent flower stays facing the sun
A splash of burgundy red colour
Its frilly edges rippling in the wind -
An upturned bell on the forest floor.
Three days and nights the Arum flower blooms
And then collapses onto the ground
Its short life was one big adventure
Of funky smells and insect sounds!
Seven years on, there will be a new bud
For forty years this cycle will repeat
But in between the hulking plant returns
To its quiet life on its hillside steep.