Leaves
Leaves

Paignton Zoo’s huge smelly flower, the titan arum, has opened.

Titan Arums (Amorphophallus titanum) have flowers that can be up to 3 metres high and 3 metres in circumference.

Giles Palmer, Curator of Plants and Gardens at Paignton Zoo, said: “There are about 100 collections in the world where you can see this plant – they can go for years between flowerings, so it’s not a common sight.”

The plant - from the rainforests of Sumatra and a member of the Arum family - is classed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants. It has one of the largest flowers in the world; the bloom – correctly, an inflorescence – is green on the outside and bright red inside, with ribbed sides and a frilled edge. Due to its odour – said to be like rotting meat – it’s known as a carrion flower, and has been dubbed corpse flower or corpse plant. It emits the strong smell at night to attract pollinators.

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