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Science and conservation key to rare Corpse Flower bloom at Adelaide Botanic Garden

Science and conservation key to rare Corpse Flower bloom at Adelaide Botanic Garden

Date posted: 26 October 2018

The Titan Arum, or Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus titanum), at Adelaide Botanic Garden has bloomed overnight.

The flower will be open for the next 48 hours and emit a potent smell resembling rotting flesh.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium is building its reputation as a global leader in Titan Arum conservation.

“From just three initial seeds, the Garden’s collection has grown to one of the largest in Australia and one of the most significant in the world,” said Minister Speirs.

“The work being done at the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium contributes to world-wide efforts to better understand the botany of plants and what we can do to conserve them.

“The flowering of Titan Arum is a fantastic way to showcase the amazing plants found in nature to the public, and it highlights our Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium as a globally important centre for botanical research.”

From seed, the Titan Arum takes ten years to flower. After this, the plant can take another 2-3 years for another flower to emerge. This is the fourth flowering of the Titan Arum since the program started in Adelaide.

Titan Arum is endangered in its native Sumatra due to habitat loss and the plant is now listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Plants.

The science program at the Botanic Gardens is contributing to growing techniques to ensure successful propagation. Horticultural curator Matt Coulter said that staff at the Botanic Gardens have developed protocols to successfully propagate the Titan Arum.

“Over the last ten years, we have been working hard to develop techniques to successfully grow and propagate the rare Titan Arum,” said Mr Coulter. “Our propagation techniques are simple but effective. From a starting point of just three seeds, we’ve been able to expand our collection substantially.”

International research collaborations to learn more about the plant will continue with today’s flowering. Botanists from the University of Adelaide will be bringing high-tech thermal imaging to measure the heat output during flowering, while DNA analysis will be undertaken in collaboration with Chicago Botanic Gardens and Botanic Gardens Conservation International.

Visitor Details


Bicentennial Conservatory, Adelaide Botanic Garden, North Terrace, Adelaide.

Entry only via the northern doors, facing Conservatory Gate, Plane Tree Drive, alongside Botanic Park.

Parking is available off Plane Tree Drive but visitors are encouraged to use public transport.

Date of flower:

26 - 27 October 2018.

Time Bicentennial Conservatory is open:

Friday 26 October: 9am-9:30pm (last entry 9:15pm)

Saturday 27 October: 9am – 6pm

Sunday 28 October onwards: 10am – 4pm


Free to attend, however donations to the Botanic Gardens enable rare and threatened plant species to be conserved. You can also donate online.


Visitors are advised to bring water, sunscreen and a hat as queues are likely.

Social media:

Please use the hashtag #CorpseFlowerAdelaide in your social media posts. Our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages will have regular updates on the progress of the flower.

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