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Big, stinky flower blooms at Botanic Garden

17:30 16/02/2018
Line up to see Belgium's corpse flower ... if you dare!

The world’s largest flower, Titum arum, is blooming again in the Meise Botanic Garden, just outside Brussels. The Titum (Amorphophallus titanum) is known not only for its gigantic size and conical shape, but for its pungent smell.

The plant is also known as the corpse flower because of said odour, which some liken to the smell of a rotting carcass. The smell permeates the garden’s warm, moist greenhouse, and will be at its strongest this evening.

Still, crowds are expected to see the blossom, which happens irregularly, usually only once a year, and only lasts a few days. The plant is also special because it is threatened with extinction in its natural habitat in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra due to deforestation.

The Botanic Garden has two titan arum flowers, and the most recent activity took place last April, when they bloomed within a few days of each other.

The current blossom, said the garden in a statement, is rather small for a Titum, some 145cm tall. Its record bloom was 244cm tall in 2013.

The garden will remain open tonight and tomorrow night until 22.00 to allow visitors to see the bloom. By Sunday, the bloom will have begun to wilt.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw