Date: 
Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 11:44

A spectacular Titan arum, the world’s biggest, smelliest flower, has bloomed at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

The plant – which grows at a rate of around 10cm a day during its flowering phase – reached a final height of 187cm when it bloomed last night. Visitors who want to see and smell the stinky marvel only have until tomorrow (Friday) before it wilts.

For the first time ever, Eden has installed a special “stinky step” so brave visitors can climb up to get the full force of the icky inflorescence’s odour.

A Titan arum typically grows for between seven and 10 years after which it is in full splendour for only 48 hours before starting to die. It gives off a distinctive, unpleasant smell akin to that of rotting flesh to attract pollinators during this short time. Some specimens have been known to reach 3m (just under 10ft) in height when they flower.

This rare plant, whose Latin name is Amorphophallus titanum, is the eighth that has bloomed in Eden’s Rainforest Biome. All of them have been grown by the project’s resident Titan expert, Tim Grigg based at Watering Lane Nursery.

People can keep an eye on the Titan with a webcam at https://www.edenproject.com/visit-us/whats-here/rainforest-biome/titan-a....