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Corpse Flower makes a stinky comeback to Adelaide

Corpse Flower makes a stinky comeback to Adelaide

Date posted: 04 October 2018

Update:

The Titan Arum has bloomed! The rare and endangered plant bloomed overnight on 26 October 2018. The flower will last for just 48 hours. Details on revised opening times are listed on the Whats On page.

Get your nose pegs at the ready – a rare and endangered Corpse flower is about to bloom at Adelaide Botanic Garden.

The Corpse flower, or Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum) is known for its pungent odour and height of around two metres.

The flower could bloom as early as 12 October, so would-be visitors are advised to clear their diaries because it only flowers for 48 hours, while also emitting a stench likened to rotting flesh.

Horticultural Curator and Titan Arum propagator Matt Coulter said conservation is a key driver in growing this plant.

“We learn something new every time a plant flowers, and this knowledge is vital to conserving this plant species,” Mr Coulter said.

“The strong smell is very effective at attracting pollinators in the wild, but it can take 10 years for the plant to flower and it can only be pollinated for one night. If it doesn’t get pollinated that night, it can take another three years for a new flower to emerge.”

This is the fourth Titan Arum to bloom at the Botanic Gardens. Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium of South Australia Director, Dr Lucy Sutherland, said the successful conservation of the Titan Arum is due to the expert knowledge and dedication of staff.

“The Titan Arum is only found in Sumatra and is endangered due to deforestation,” Dr Sutherland said.

“The plant is notoriously difficult to propagate, but thanks to our horticultural staff’s dedication to developing successful growing techniques - and donations from the public - the conservation of this rare and important species is possible.”

Visitors to Adelaide Botanic Garden are advised that there may be a long queue to see the flower, so they should come prepared with water, sunscreen and a hat.

Parking is available off Plane Tree Drive but visitors are encouraged to use public transport due to an expected high level of interest.

The Titan Arum is on display in the Bicentennial Conservatory and further information is available on the Botanic Garden website.

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