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It's not easy being stinky

Date posted: 12 May 2014

If you’ve ever had a bad nickname spare a thought for the Amorphophallus titanum (Titan arum). Despite being commonly known as the corpse flower this rare plant species does a whole lot of living. Most recognisable for it’s very large, and very smelly, flower the Titan arum has other amazing attributes, such as reaching its full vertical height in just seven weeks.

The Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Nursery is lucky enough to have Titan arum plants and the team are patiently waiting for our first flower. In the meantime everyone’s enjoying watching the plants grow. Even in without a flower (in its vegetative state) the Titan arum is quite striking, reaching three to five metres tall and exhibiting a unique pattern along its trunk. Did you know the whole plant is actually classified as a leaf? Amazing!

There’s plenty of reasons you should get excited about the Amorphophallus titanum, it has the largest inflorescence of any plant, it’s flower produces a strong scent often likened to the smell of rotting flesh and it has never flowered in South Australia…just to name a few.

The video below was shot over an 11 day period and shows the top of the plant opening up. Notice how it follows the sun, contracting at night and expanding in the morning.

To demonstrate the speed of the Titan arum's growth we're tracking one of our plants, make sure you stay up to date with our blog to watch it grow.

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The life and times of a Titan Arum

06 January 2023

The Titan Arum, or Corpse Flower, is known for its notorious smell - but did you know these plants have a fascinating life up to 10 years prior to the stinky inflorescent bloom?