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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
Smelly flower blooms on net show
Titum Arum - Picture courtesy  Cambridge University Botanic Garden
The pungent A. titanum is normally found in the rainforests of Sumatra
A flower renowned for its horrible odour is about to bloom on a live webcam - so that the public can enjoy the sight without the scent.

The Titan Arum was nurtured at Cambridge University's Botanic Garden for 20 years.

Amorphophallus titanum is often called the corpse flower because its huge red blooms smell like rotting flesh.

Garden director John Parker said: "The growth is very rapid so we expect it to be in the next two weeks."

"We are very excited to be flowering our first Titan Arum.

"To the best of our knowledge, only the Royal Botanic Gardens at Edinburgh and Kew have managed it before in this country, " the professor added.

Rob Brett, who manages the greenhouse, said: "It will certainly be a spectacular, if short-lived, sight.

"The flower lives for around two to three days and is perfect only for a few hours when the revolting smell pulses from the plant."

The smell from the Indonesian plant attracts its pollinators, which are thought to be carrion beetles and sweat bees.


SEE ALSO:
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07 Aug 02  |  Science/Nature
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02 May 02  |  UK News


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