Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Smelly flower to reach new heights?

Staff at the Eden Project measure the towering Titan arum
Staff at the Eden Project measure the towering Titan arum

The world's biggest, smelliest flower is due to blossom imminently at a Cornish tourist attraction - and could be a record breaker.

The 268cm-tall Titan arum is currently only 23cm short of the Eden Project's biggest ever Titan and could break that record in the next few days.

It will be the ninth that has flowered at Eden but is due to be the first one to bloom twice.

Currently it is growing at an astonishing rate of between 15 and 20cm a day and is due to flower either over the weekend or early next week - almost a year to the day since the last one bloomed at the attraction, near St Austell, Cornwall.

Titan arums normally live for between seven and 10 years before flowering for as little as 48 hours and then dying.

This plant is a first for Eden as the project's resident expert Tim Grigg cut the flower back after it first bloomed in 2011 and to his amazement it flowered again.

In 2011, it claimed the title of Eden's biggest ever Titan, measuring 291cm at its tallest.

The Titan arum is sometimes known as the "corpse flower" because of the fetid stench that it emits when flowering.

This malodorous musk attracts insects and animals that pollinate the plant. Some specimens have been known to reach 3 metres in height when they flower.

Eden will be installing a "stinky step", which will give brave visitors the chance to get up close to the flower and get their face right in the funk.

Mr Grigg said: "I am really proud of this Titan, the first one that has flowered twice at Eden.

"Here's to many more Titan arum flowers in years to come."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz