[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 21 April, 2005, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
Giant rare bloom gives off stench
The Amorphophallus Titanium
The plant is said to be the largest flower in the world
A giant rare flower is emitting a stench of rotting flesh after blooming overnight.

The titan arum at Kew Gardens, in west London, will keep its smelly bloom for only one or two days.

Commonly known as the "corpse flower" by Indonesians in its native Sumatra, the blood-red flower is 2.11m tall and last bloomed at Kew in 2003.

The stench, likened by one visitor to "dirty nappies", attracts the insects needed to pollinate the flower.

The plant, Latin name Amorphophallus titanum, is believed to be the largest flower in the world.

Huge pots

It is renowned for its hideous smell which is said to be a cross between burnt sugar and rotting flesh.

For the past few weeks the shoot grew about 10cm a day until the plant slowly opened up like an upturned umbrella.

Kew horticulturist Phil Griffiths said their biggest success had been "to put the plants into huge pots later on in their development".

"This increases the size of the bulb and therefore the resulting flowers have been huge," he added.

Smelly bloom pulls in the crowds
08 Sep 04 |  Cambridgeshire
'Rotting flesh' flower in bloom
03 Sep 04 |  Cambridgeshire
The world's smelliest flower
02 May 02 |  Features

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific