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Last Updated: Friday, 11 January 2008, 15:19 GMT
'Corpse plant' makes deadly fruit
Titan
The titan arum has been nurtured by Mr Grigg for nine years
One of the world's smelliest flowers has produced a fruit at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The rare titan arum, also known as the corpse flower because of its pungent smell, flowered in November and was pollinated by the project's gardeners.

It is now producing a fruit head of vibrant orange berries, thanks to the work of horticulturalist Tim Grigg.

But no-one will be tucking into titan fruit because it is potentially deadly to humans.

The titan arum has been nurtured by Mr Grigg for nine years.

He used a paintbrush to reach inside the giant flower head and pollinate it.

He said: "I couldn't believe that the pollination worked. At the time I wasn't sure, I'm really happy and excited."

The head will grow bigger and change colour from orange to red when it is ripe.

Cure hope

But although the plant is poisonous to humans, any seeds will be extracted and used to grow more plants.

And they could also benefit people in the future as the plant is thought to have healing properties.

Tony Moore, professor of biochemistry at the University of Sussex, said: "It contains a protein that is also found in human parasites such as the ones that cause African sleeping sickness.

"Understanding the structure of this protein may enable us to develop new compounds to help to fight the disease."

SEE ALSO
Plant flowering after nine years
15 Nov 07 |  Cornwall
Corpse flower comes back to life
05 Feb 07 |  Cornwall
Titan is causing a stink at Eden
17 Jan 07 |  Cornwall
Eden crowds set for stinky treat
07 Apr 05 |  Cornwall
'Rotting flesh' flower in bloom
03 Sep 04 |  Cambridgeshire
Smelly flower blooms on net show
24 Aug 04 |  Cambridgeshire

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