Another rare corpse plant could be set to flower again

The corpse plant has begun to attract a lot of attention a the Dunedin Botanical Garden's winter...
The corpse plant has attracted a lot of attention a the Dunedin Botanical Garden's winter house when it flowered in 2018. Photo: Christine O'Connor
About nine months after a rare corpse plant bloomed at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Dunedin could be set to get a taste of its fearsome scent.

The Dunedin Botanic Garden plant last flowered in 2018 - which was the first time it had flowered after a decade at the garden - but a Dunedin City Council spokesman said it was showing early signs it could be preparing to unleash another of its rare and powerfully odorous flowers this summer.

Called Amorphophallus titanum​ (but commonly known as the corpse flower), the rare plant is native to Indonesia. Earlier this year in January, one the rare flowers came into full bloom at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

The plant is famed for producing one of the world's largest flowers, but also a nauseating smell comparable to rotting flesh.

Next week, Dunedin garden staff would weigh the plant’s corm (a bulb-like underground stem) to try to get a better idea of whether the plant was preparing to flower again.

If the corm weighed more than 20kg it was an indication the plant had reached its potential to flower.

In February 2018, opening hours had to be extended as thousands of people flocked to the Dunedin Botanic Garden to experience the smell, which typically lasts for only 24-36 hours.






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