The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

World's largest - and smelliest - flower blooms again in Meise

MEISE, BELGIUM: Illustration shows the Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) flower in the national botanic garden in Meise, Tuesday 09 July 2013. The inflorescense of this flower reaches to 235cm, due to it's horrible smell the flower is also referred to as 'corpse flower'. (BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE)
05:55 26/07/2021

The giant arum has been in bloom again in the botanical garden in Meise since Friday, giving visitors the chance to see the largest flower in the world – and experience the dubious pleasure of its distinct aroma.

Described as smelling like a mixture of rotten fish and dead bodies, the Amorphophallus titanum, measures two meters and 18 centimetres in height and emits its distinct smell to attract pollinating insects.

“The smell is somewhere between that of a cadaver, rancid cheese and rotten fish. That is why the Indonesians call it the ‘corpse plant’,” the botanical garden’s website states.

This is the 14th time that the plant has bloomed, and also the second time this year. At 14.30 on Friday, the 'flower' of the arum began to open. The flowering, from start to finish, takes less than 72 hours, so those who want to admire the plant now have a small window of opportunity. The Botanical Gardens are open from 10.00-18.00.

For those who can't make it, don't worry. A second giant arum is also about to bloom in Meise. That plant is expected to open sometime this week.

Written by Nick Amies