Rare corpse plant starts flowering

Whether it's stinking hot or not, the Dunedin Botanic Garden is set to be the smelliest place in the city as its corpse flower begins to produce its rare bloom.

Dunedin Botanic Garden Collection Curator Stephen Bishop said it was the first time the plant (Amorphophallus titanium) had flowered in the decade it had been at the garden.

"The flower is beginning to emerge and it’s still growing, it could be up to two metres high when it fully emerges. Exactly when the flower will open is guesswork but it could be later this week.

"The plant won’t smell until the flower opens," Mr Bishop said.

Famous for producing one of the world's largest flowers and a nauseating smell, comparable to rotting flesh, the flower is expected to draw large crowds.

The bloom is pungent but short-lived, so the winter garden glasshouse opening hours have been extended to allow people to have a look.

"There’s not much time to see it; the flower only lasts around 24 to 36 hours.

"It’s worth a visit though; especially because we have no idea when it might flower again in the future.

"There has been a lot of local interest and enquiries already. Some people are regularly visiting to watch its progress.”

Hours at the winter garden glasshouse have been extended as follows:
Wednesday (31 Jan) 9am-6pm

Thursday (1 Feb) 9am-7pm

Friday(2 Feb) 9am–8.30pm

Saturday(3 Feb) 9am – 8.30pm

Sunday (4 Feb) 9am – 8.30pm

*Viewing days may be further extended depending on flowering.



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