News State Victoria News Titan returns: giant corpse flower blooms again

Titan returns: giant corpse flower blooms again

Royal Botanic Gardens
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Australia’s largest flower ever grown has wilted to a crumpled form, the end of this stage of the Titan Arum’s life.

Crowds of people went to see the Amorphophallus titanum, which translates roughly as ‘giant misshapen penis flower’, in bloom at Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens over the weekend.

The enormous flower, which can take up to six years to bloom and smells like a rotting corpse to attract pollenating flies, bloomed over the weekend at Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens.

The Gardens raised its first Titan Arum in 2012 when it was out-done by a larger Cairns-grown specimen.

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But this year’s crop has set a record against the tropical-grown cousin by 25cm to stand 2.63 metres.

The flower grew at a rate of up to 17 centimetres a day but had tailed off to about 10.5 centimetres by its later stage of growth.  

About 80 of the flowers have been grown outside their natural habitats such as its native Sumatra in Indonesia over the past 30 years.

See the Titan Arum in pictures  from a bud emerging from the dirt to its full size in about five weeks. 

“To have a third bloom in three years is a credit to our highly skilled Nursery staff, and a rather attractive (if smelly) feather in the cap for Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens,” Professor Tim Entwisle, director and CEO of the Royal Botanic Gardens said in a blog post. The flower will now collapse and leave an underground tuber. 

In a modern take on celebrity, the flower had its own Twitter account which tweeted 275 times to its final count of 533 followers to engage the fans.

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