Amorphophallus titanum the Worlds LARGEST Flower!
The 30th of December 2012 is a day I will remember for the rest of my life!!
And let me tell you it was one of the biggest and best highlights of my career in Horticulture, I have been waiting close to 8 years to see this flower!
Let me introduce you to Amorphophallus titanum!
The Amorphophallus titanum was discovered in 1878 in Sumatra, Indonesia by Odoardo Beccari who was an Italian botanist. Since its discovery, many botanical gardens from all around the world have been studying and encouraging the Amorphophallus.t to flower, thus hoping to gain a better understanding of how to conserve the species. But Amorphophallus.t isn’t an easy plant to grow and is quite difficult to get a flower to form. Within botanical gardens around the world there have only been 21 flowering events recorded before 1989 and only 80 flowering events after 1990 have been recorded in botanical gardens around the world.
Amorphophallus titanum can still be found growing in the west of Sumatra in the mountain ranges, particularly in rainforest areas.
Amorphophallus.t‘s common name is the ‘Stink Lily’ and this is for a very good reason. Once the flower emerges a very powerful scent is omitted for the first couple of days, which often is described as the same smell as rotting or off meat. Unfortunately the inflorescence of the flower tends to collapse within two to three days, making it a short period of time to witness.
It is such a rare and beautiful piece of nature that many of us don’t get the chance to witness or be made aware of. But this week at the Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne I went to see this very plant in flower and what a sight it was.
Standing easily at 2.5 metres, close to 8.5 feet, it is definitely a stand still moment. When you’re in the presence of such a plant you finally get to understand just how much of an honour it is to see something so beautiful and unique. It really is a once in a life time opportunity. It is hard to comprehend just how quickly this flower forms and then dies, growing at a speed of 10cm per day which is just astonishing! I was able to talk with one of the gardeners and I found out that the tuber weighed 36kg and when you compare that to the record holder of 117kg, it’s mind blowing!
It is truly amazing what nature can do!
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs
©The Gardener’s Notebook