Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The biggest 'flower' in the world.

Titan Arum at Kew Gardens.

One of the most spectacular plants to be found in the wet tropics zone of the Princess of Wales Conservatory is the titan arum. With its huge flowering structure (inflorescence) rising some 3m above the ground and its single immense leaf, it certainly is a giant among plants, as its name suggests. Coupled with its characteristic foul stench, and the rarity of flowerings, this plant has always hit the headlines. - Kew Gardens website.
Well it wasn't quite that spectacular when I went to visit over the weekend, but then again it had flowered on 28 September! Still, I thought it would make a nice abstract photograph.



Blogger Sam said...

It looks like the result of a freakish GM experiment - "what happens when you cross pears with oranges."

15/11/05 18:00  
Blogger Jon said...

The titan arum isn't really the largest flower in the world. That distinction belongs to the Rafflesia arnoldii, which can grow to over 3 feet long and weigh up to 25 pounds.

The titan arum whilst being much bigger is technically an "inflorescence", or a cluster of flowers.

The spadix (the fleshy central column), where the seeds are is huge nonetheless.

15/11/05 18:10  
Blogger Odge said...

it's a cool abstract, they are supposed to smell very bad, did it?

18/11/05 11:49  
Blogger Jon said...

This one didn't smell at all. I believe that it only smells while it is flowering.

It is supposed to smell of rotting meat to attract flies and other insects.

I don't think that I would really want to subject myself to that sort of an aromatic experience if I could avoid it.

18/11/05 13:20  

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