Rare Corpse Flower to bloom for first time in SA?
In a South Australian first, one of the world’s largest flowers – known for a stench likened to rotting flesh – looks likely to bloom at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden in the next fortnight.
The Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum) – found in the rainforests of Sumatra – is commonly known as the Corpse Flower, and it can grow up to three metres tall.
The flower’s height, combined with a giant yellow phallic spike (spadix), burgundy upturned skirt (spathe) and that nauseating smell, has turned the Titan Arum into a rockstar of the plant world, and a major boon for any botanic gardens who manage to get the endangered plant to flower.
Horticultural Curator of Plant Propagation Matt Coulter said the Gardens sourced the seed through a donation in 2006 and the prospect of a flowering event in SA was thrilling.
“The Titan Arum is notoriously difficult to cultivate and even in optimum conditions it can take seven years for the plant to flower from seed,” Mr Coulter said. “At the moment it’s a day-by-day inspection, but once the spathe starts to grow vigorously we’ll know we have about a week until it flowers.”
“The anticipation here is high and if it flowers the public will have roughly 48 hours to see and smell it in all its glory, before it collapses in on itself in a heap!”
Botanic Gardens acting director Janice Goodwins said to have a Titan Arum – which are threatened by deforestation in the wild – set to bloom is a credit to the Gardens’ passionate, persistent and expert staff.
“The Titan Arum really is one of the world’s most fascinating plants, and we’re ecstatic the South Australian public will likely have the opportunity to see it,” Ms Goodwins said. “Visitors will gain an appreciation of the wonder of nature, and for the important work being done by botanic gardens to help conserve vulnerable plants around the world.”
Subscribe to the Gardens’ e-newsletter here at to be the first to know when the Titan Arum might flower and how you can see it, and stay tuned to the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Facebook page for developments on its progress.
UPDATE: Posted 28 December 2015
One of the world’s largest flowers, famous for a stench likened to rotting flesh, will be on display tomorrow Tuesday 29 December between 10am to 4pm at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden in what’s believed to be a South Australian first.
The Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) – found in the rainforests of Sumatra – is commonly known as the Corpse Flower, and it can grow up to three metres tall.
The flower’s height, combined with a giant yellow phallic spike (spadix), burgundy upturned skirt (spathe) and that nauseating smell, has turned the Titan arum into a rockstar of the plant world, and a major boon for botanic gardens who manage to get the endangered plant to flower.
Horticultural Curator of Plant Propagation, Matt Coulter, said the Gardens sourced the seed for the flower – which has been named Indah (Indonesian for beautiful) after a social media competition – through a donation in 2006 and the Titan arum’s flowering was a thrilling prospect.
“Flowering events are rare because the plant is so difficult to cultivate, even in optimum conditions,” Mr Coulter said.
“The fact the flower, and its signature stench, will only last around 48 hours before it collapses on itself, makes it a must-see event for plant lovers and curious souls alike.”
While the Gardens cannot confirm the exact flowering dates, the decision has been made to open the Nursery to the public between 10am and 4pm on Tuesday 29 December in light of forecasted high temperatures later in the week, which will likely force the closure of Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. The Nursery will also open on Wednesday 30 December unless the Garden is closed due to the fire danger rating.
Visitors are advised to go to the Garden’s Lower Entrance (enter via Lampert Road), park in the Lower Carpark and follow the signs along the dam wall to the Nursery (approximately a one-kilometre round-trip).
For more information and all enquiries please visit the Botanic Gardens of South Australia website here.
What: Rare Corpse Flower to bloom for first time in SA
When: Any time in the next couple of weeks – keep up to date on the link above!
Where: Mount Lofty Botanic Garden
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
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