A new stinky at Mount Lofty

Date posted: 31 October 2016

While it might not have the sheer size of our Titan Arums (Amorphophallus titanum aka Corpse Flower), this little guy is certainly a relative of Indah and Ganteng (hint: it stinks).

Meet the Amorphophallus maxwellii, which flowered in Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Nursery’s glasshouse last weekend. Our Horticultural Curator of Plant Propagation, Matt Coulter, certainly knew our plant was in flower when he opened the glasshouse doors on Monday morning (pee-ew!).

The plant is native to rainforests in Thailand and was only described in 1994. Like all other Amorphophallus plants, it contains lots of little small flowers grouped together in a large flowering structure called an inflorescence. Then there’s the modified leaf (called a spathe) surrounding the big spike-shaped thing called a spadix.

Amorphophallus plants emit odours to attract pollinators like flies or beetles and while some are reportedly quite pleasant (e.g. anise or chocolate), others are a tad more revolting (like the maxwellii or titanum’s dead animal smell, for example!).

The Botanic Gardens of South Australia has acquired a range of different Amorphophallus species and hybrids recently, adding to our dozens of Titan Arum plants. Stay tuned for more flowering news and videos as they come to hand.

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