Top 5 - yesterday
Top 5 - last week
Top 5 - last month
- Hasfarm’s network expands in Indonesia, partnering with Bromelia Flowers and Tropika
- "Breeders need to study the Chinese market carefully before introducing a variety"
- Royal Flowers merges with The Elite Group
- North America: “Unbridled optimism for Mother’s Day tempered by reality”
- “A new sales channel for flower companies without any labor or high fixed costs”
UK: World's smelliest flower blooms at the Botanic Garden
The plant, also known as the “corpse flower’’ because it emits a stench like rotting flesh to attract pollinating insects, is flowering for the second time in two years.
When it flowered in June 2015 around 19,000 people visited the Lowland Tropics House to see the first flowering of an Amorphophallus titanum in Scotland.
This time round the plant will be pollinated, and if it successfully fruits, the plant will most likely die after completing its natural life cycle. It is predicted the flower will last one or two days.
Scientists at RBGE are studying the Amorphophallus titanum to find out more about its pungent small and what pollinators it attracts.Dr Peter Wilkie, a Tropical Botanist at RBGE explained: “The last time the Amorphophallus titanum flowered we studied its morphology and structure, this time we want to better understand its biology. We want to investigate how it produces its famous smell, what pollinators are attracted to the smell and what animals disperse its seed. We are also keen to investigate why several plants are flowering in different parts of the world at the same time - are there particular environmental triggers? Are the plants that flower at the same time very closely related genetically? For such an iconic plant there is so much we don’t yet know.''
Explaining the scientific significance behind the plant, Tropical Botanist Mark Hughes said: “The titan arum grows only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and its flowering here in RBGE for the second time symbolises our research and conservation efforts in that country. We have another 440 species of plants in our Glasshouses from Indonesia, many of them incredibly rare and endangered but also fascinating and beautiful. In the past five years our scientists have described over 50 new species from Indonesian forests, showing how much remains to be discovered and protected for the future.’’
The titan arum is a giant among plants, with a massive flowering structure that rises some three metres above the ground. A single leaf can reach a height of six metres and a spread of five metres and looks like a small tree rather than the herbaceous plant that it actually is. Its flowering is rare and unpredictable. The flower emits the pungent smell to attract pollinating insects such as carrion beetles and flies.
Successfully bringing the titan arum to the point of flowering has involved replicating the conditions it would experience in the rainforests of Sumatra. The Lowland Tropics House provides the required high humidity and temperatures. During the day the temperatures are between 21-25 degrees centigrade, and by night above a minimum of 19 degrees centigrade with about 80% humidity. The 1,000 litre pot is watered with a high potash liquid fertiliser (Tomato Food) and care is taken to avoid waterlogged conditions as this could cause the corm to rot.
In 2010 staff at the Garden had to borrow scales from Edinburgh Zoo to weigh the corm which at an impressive £153.9kgs, smashed the existing world record of 117kgs, held by Bonn Botanic Gardens, Germany, by 36.9kgs. At the time of the weigh in it had grown from the size of an orange to measuring 952mm wide and 426mm high with a circumference of 280cm.
More work is needed to establish the conservation status of titan arum in the wild. It is currently only known from the Bukit Barisan range of mountains in West Sumatra and is classified as Vulnerable (V) on the 1997 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Plants.
Sumatra is part of RBGE’s ongoing research in Southeast Asia on diverse tropical plant families including the Zingiberaceae (gingers), Begoniaceae (begonias), Gesneriaceae and tropical trees in the Sapotaceae and Malvaceae.
For more information:
Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here
Other news in this sector:
- 2023-06-01 Fresh Impact Tours 2023 brings IFPA to members backyards
- 2023-06-01 40th International Plant Fair from January 23 to 26, 2024 at Messe Essen
- 2023-05-31 "Vietnam has a huge potential to promote Gerbera"
- 2023-05-31 UK: HTA shines a spotlight on member and advocacy success at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023
- 2023-05-31 Syngenta Flowers wins award for show garden at Shanghai International Flowers Show 2023
- 2023-05-31 UK: Award-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden to go on display in Hampshire
- 2023-05-30 “It is wonderful to see our plans coming together on the nursery”
- 2023-05-30 International honor for the Kortrijk Rose Garden: visit from the World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS)
- 2023-05-30 UK: Glee visitors invited to GCA’s stand at the show
- 2023-05-30 Lily League is the voice of the Dutch Lily Days
- 2023-05-30 South Korea: Indoor flower show to open in Daegu
- 2023-05-26 Sion Young Plants to open its doors from June 6 to 16
- 2023-05-26 UK: Chelsea Flower Show garden damaged after Just Stop Oil protest
- 2023-05-26 Bangladesh: 20 officials to learn flower farming
- 2023-05-25 Still possible to join the Netherlands pavilion at Expo AgroAlimentaria Guanajuato, Mexico
- 2023-05-24 Flower industry boosts tourism in SW China's village
- 2023-05-24 Meet David Austin’s new rose star at Chelsea Flower Show
- 2023-05-24 Danziger to present cut flower novelties at FlowerTrials and IFTEX
- 2023-05-23 US: Attendees learn to respond & adapt to economic uncertainty at SAF Phoenix 2023
- 2023-05-23 US (CA): 2024 Fun 'N Sun Floral Convention