ALOR STAR: A rare tuberous herbaceous plant, believed to be amorphophallus prainii, which resembles an Olympic torch, was found at Bukit Wang recreational park, 32km from here recently.
The state's Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) chairman Phang Fatt Khow said the plant was uncommon in this country and that it was odd to be growing next to a car park at the recreational park as it was normally found in lowlands and secondary forests.
"This plant is in the last growing season. Its leaf or flower will die and fall off but the rhizome will stay in the underground and enter a dormant period," he said, adding that it was also uncommon to find two plants growing next to each other.
Amorphophallus is a large genus of some 170 tropical and subtropical tuberous herbaceous plants from the Arum family. The largest, amorphophallus titanium, was reported to be able to grow and reach over three metres tall.
Phang said the plant at the Bukit Wang recreational area was about three days old and would last for several days more.
He said it resembled amorphophallus prainii as it bore the characteristic white flower. The plant has grown up to 60cm in height.
"If we cut open the flower, it will give out a repulsive scent which is used to attract insects," he said, adding that there were reports that a similar species was found in the Perlis State Park recently.