Second blooming for rare corpse flower in botanical garden


The Amorphophallus titanium in Meise’s botanical garden is in bloom for the second time this year, after three years without flowering

What’s that smell?

A rare corpse flower at the Botanical Garden in Meise near Brussels is in bloom for the second time this year. The flower, Amorphophallus titanium, normally only blooms every three to eight years. It previously bloomed in March this year, its first appearance in three years.

The blooming period lasts only 72 hours and is characterised by the rotting smell that gives the plant its name. As the blooming attracts a lot of attention, the Botanical Garden will remain open until 22.00 for three days.

The corpse flower (pictured) was discovered in 1878 in the rainforests of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. In one growing season, the plant produces a large tuber that can weigh up to 130kg. It produces either a huge leaf structure 2 to 6 metres high or a giant erect flower 1.5 to 3 metres high. The tuber now blooming weighs about 30kg and has a flower 2.37 metres high. 

The Botanical Garden has a small collection of corpse flowers. Since August 2008, there have been about five blooming periods of corpse flowers registered at Meise, which indicates optimal growing conditions for the plant. The plant requires a high humidity and a constant heat of at least 24 degrees Celsius.

Photo courtesy Botanical Garden Meise