Curator not holding his breath

A small chance remains Dunedin will once more experience the pungent smell of the city’s corpse flower.

The Amorphophallus titanum flower was weighed by staff at the Dunedin Botanic Garden yesterday and provided an indication of whether the plant would flower again and release the smell.

It last flowered in 2018, the first time it had flowered after a decade at the garden.

Dunedin Botanic Garden plant collection curator Stephen Bishop said there was about a 10% chance the plant would flower.

The plant operated on a two-year cycle and around December or January it will become clear whether the plant would flower or leaf.

"We’ve weighed it today and it's at 37.1kg which is a bit over 10kg more than last time. It was about 28kg then.

"We first got it when it was about the size of a golf ball."

Dunedin Botanic Garden plant collection curator Stephen Bishop holds the corpse plant which has a...
Dunedin Botanic Garden plant collection curator Stephen Bishop holds the corpse plant which has a small chance of flowering. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH

Mr Bishop said he had correctly predicted its flowering in 2018, but was not holding out hope this time around.

"I think it’s probably going to go into leaf this time ... probably we’re going to have to wait at least another two years.

"It’s building up its energy for flowering."

For most of its life the plant regularly produces a single leaf the size of a small tree, up to 6m tall and 4m wide in the wild.

Comments

Just go to the sewerage works if you want "the smell", I'm sure the workers there would be more than happy to accommodate you.

 

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