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Bract forms waterproof structure: titan arum


Amorphophallus titanum / Houston Muse.. / LicenseCC-by-nc-sa - Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike

The spadix of the titan arum plant is protected from water by a specialized bract called a spathe, that clasps the spadix tightly enough to form a waterproof bag.

"The tall grey spadix [of the titan arum], which is filled with cobweb-like support fibres, becomes flaccid, topples forward and droops over the margin of the spathe. The spathe itself contracts inwards and its upper margins start to twist round the lower part of the spadix, clasping it so tightly that a huge water-tight bag is created. Safe inside it, the ovaries of the fertilised female flowers begin to swell." (Attenborough 1995:136)
About the inspiring organism
Med_4786780387_5d8aa6b3e4_b Amorphophallus titanum
Amorphophallus titanum (Becc.) Becc.
Common name: Titan arum

Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

IUCN Red List Status: Unknown

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Storable, expandable water transport materials for emergency aid.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Packaging, waterproof materials, water transport

Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
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