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