Titan Arum

Also known as New Reekie or more correctly Amorphophallus titanum, and the subject of great excitement in Edinburgh Botanic Garden.

As Friends of the Botanics we received an email to say that the much-awaited flower of this rare plant would be at its peak (and smelliest) at the weekend: our problem was that we were 300 miles away.

Fortunately, although the smell has subsided, the flower is still at its impressive peak and, without too much waiting in queues, we had perfect views this morning, so much so we went round the display twice.

This is the fruitition of twelve years' cultivation from the one-year-old corm sent from Hortus Botanicus Leiden in the  Netherlands; hitherto the corm (continuing to grow and weighing a record 153.9kg in 2010) produced leaves but never a flower.  Endangered in its native Sumatra and rare in cultivation the garden has harvested pollen from this specimen to send to other botanical gardens, to maintain a wider genetic variance.

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