Page last updated at 19:47 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 20:47 UK

Crowds thrilled by blooming stink

Titan arum - known as the corpse flower
The smell of rotting flesh has not deterred crowds flocking to see the plant

One of the smelliest flowers in the world has bloomed in Cornwall.

But despite giving off the aroma of rotting flesh, the rare giant titan arum is drawing crowds to the Eden Project near St Austell.

Known as the corpse flower because of its revolting smell, the plant is on display in Eden's Rainforest Biome.

The 212cm (7ft) plant from Sumatra - real name amorphophallus titanum - is expected to bloom for just two or three days before it wilts.

Horticulturist Tim Grigg has been growing titans for nine years at Eden, with seeds donated by Bonn Botanical Garden in Germany.

Its rotting flesh-like whiff is really distinctive
Tim Grigg, Eden horticulturist

This is his fourth success with the flower and is the second biggest example of the plant he has grown.

"As soon as I walked into the Rainforest Biome last night I could smell it a mile off - its rotting flesh-like whiff is really distinctive," Mr Grigg said.

In January, the plant produced a fruit head of vibrant orange berries after being pollinated by Mr Grigg using a paintbrush to reach inside the giant flower head.

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

Although it is poisonous,a protein contained within the plant is thought to have healing properties.


SEE ALSO
'Corpse plant' makes deadly fruit
11 Jan 08 |  Cornwall
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

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