News State SA News Adelaide’s corpse flower opens at botanic gardens

Adelaide’s corpse flower opens at botanic gardens

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The much-awaited opening of Adelaide’s rare corpse flower has begun in the city’s botanic gardens.

The Adelaide Botanic Garden tweeted its “stinkiest resident” had begun its big reveal and had been named Ganteng, which means handsome in Indonesian.

Gardens staff reported on Sunday the flower, which is native to Sumatra, was beginning to smell like “dead possum”.

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The conservatory will be open until midnight on Monday with last entry at 11:30pm.

Entry is limited to the northern end, which faces the Conservatory Gate off Plane Tree Drive.

More than 5000 people visited the Mount Lofty Gardens last month on a 36-degree day to see the city’s first corpse flower plant bloom.

Horticultural curator Matt Coulter said the Amorphophallus titanum looked its best and smelt the strongest on the first day and would wither within about 48 hours.

The flower stands at more than two metres tall and has undergone an eight-week growth spurt.

“With the experience from the first one, we know once it starts to unfold that this will keep opening into the night and probably in the next four or five hours the flower should be fully out,” he said at 3:40pm local time.

“It is only just starting to smell at the moment and over the next 10 hours it will actually increase in smell.

“It’s a very strong sort of ammonia, rotting fish sort of smell,” Mr Coulter said.

He said the flower sent out pulses of the smell every 10 to 20 seconds.

The plant in its native environment uses the smell of death to attract insects to cross pollinate.

The garden received a donation of three seeds 10 years ago and staff have been carefully tending to the plants in its glasshouses.

“It’s been growing above the soil for about eight weeks now … for the first 10 years it puts a leaf up every year and that leaf will die down,” he said.

The conservatory will open on Tuesday from 7:00am.

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