Monday, 23 March 2015

The Worlds Largest Flower

A little while ago, the largest flower in the world was in bloom in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.

(Technically, its the worlds largest 'unbranched flower' - but that seems to be splitting hairs!)

Given that these plants only produce their huge every 7 to 10 years, I thought I'd go and have a look.  Also, given that this flower attracts pollinators though its fouls smell, I though I'd go and have a sniff as well.

The flower goes by a number of names, including Amorphophallus titanium, the titan arum and because of its smell, the corpse flower!

As you can see that flower is rather large, towering over a rather splendid looking boy who chose to wear a suitably botanical tee-shirt on that day!  You can't smell the smell, and (possibly) thankfully neither could we!  It seemed that the stink had subsided a bit by the time we got there.  One of the staff told us that it was actually making her gag the day before!



As with many plants the architecture of the whole thing is remarkable.  These are some closer images of the plant.



What is also remarkable is that the flower rapidly decays away after blooming - and only remains fully in flower for about three of four days.  After that it rapidly collapses.  This is a plant that was in flower a short while ago.


If one of these plants comes into flower anywhere near you I would recommend you go and have a look.

You can find out more about this plant at the modern repository of all knowledge.

And you can find more images from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

31 comments:

Joyful said...

Amazing. I've heard of this flower before and would be keen to see it if it came to where I am.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Triffids, anyone? Hehehe couldn't get that thought out of my mind. It is a structural beauty though, no doubt about it! YAM xx

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

We got to see one of these at an Arboretum in Seattle last Fall and it definitely DID stink! I blogged the experience, but not as well as you do here ... There was such a line of people that I wouldn't have had time to take those close.ups even if I'd thought of it.

Marcia said...

I have heard of those flowers but never seen one. One bloomed at the Botanical Gardens in Washington in the last year or two but I didn't get there to see it. Thanks for the up close and personal shots. I have heard about the smell too.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I saw your new post link in my blog reader and had to come over to view. My goodness!!! This is incredible.

Irma said...

Beautiful shot of this great flower, Stewart.
I've never seen such a large flower.
A good new week.
Best regards, Irma

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

A flower that gags you...yeah, I'm running to that one hehe

TexWisGirl said...

it's a doozie! i've read about them before and can happily skip that experience. :)

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I would love to have seen that. Just imagine the energy that plant expended in producing that flower. Amazing.

Linda W. said...

How interesting! That is one big blossom.

Sylvia K said...

Amazing and a big blossom indeed! Great captures as always, Stewart!

EG CameraGirl said...

It's HUGE! We did have one flower in Toronto a while back but I missed it! Glad you got to see the one there.

ladyfi said...

What an amazing flower!

Wally Jones said...

Now THAT'S an interesting plant!
Thank you for sharing the information and your great images.

I admit, on looking at your first photo, I thought of "The Little Shop of Horrors". ("Feed me!!!")

Hope your week is off to a terrific start, Stewart!

-- Wally In Wet Florida

Missy George said...

That's a pretty amazing flower..There may be one in an Arboretum not far from here..Thanks for sharing without the smell..( I guess that will be next)

Missy George said...

That's a pretty amazing flower..There may be one in an Arboretum not far from here..Thanks for sharing without the smell..( I guess that will be next)

Margaret Adamson said...

Must have been wonderful to see this flower bloom in person and I loved the close up shots you got of it.

colleen said...

WTH! Reality is so much stranger than fiction!

carol l mckenna said...

Great shots of this magnificent flower! Wow!

Happy Week to you,
artmusedog and carol

Valerie said...

An extraordinary bloom for sure - thanks for sharing its image Stewart, but sparing us the "aroma"!

Lois said...

It is beautiful! I have a friend who went to see one bloom one time and she said the same thing about the smell.

Amy Franks said...

I've heard about that flower, I think it's cool. btw is that a wombat in your header image

Bethany Carson said...

It looks like the whole plant is a flower! Enjoyed the photos!

Carletta said...

I was fortunate to see one of these in Washington DC. many years ago. I just happened to be in the area at the time of its blooming. I went fully prepared for the smell but I didn't smell anything.
Wally's comment made me smile. Little Shop of Horrors does come to mind. It is a huge plant.

Mama Zen said...

That's amazing!

Montanagirl said...

That's truly amazing and interesting! I had never heard of it before. Thank you for sharing with us!!

NatureFootstep said...

that is quite amazing for a flower :)

ZamJu said...

Incredibly this flower. Thanks for the Pictures.

Marie said...

That's so fascinating! It's beautiful and strange.

Hannah said...

I also think of Little Shop of Horrors when I see this. I would like to see the giant fly that comes to visit it too. Very cool photos.

Pat Tillett said...

Very interesting! I think there is a place or two that have these plants in my area. I'm going to try and find out. I'd like to go take a whiff, er um, look!