Come and visit Adelaide's Corpse Flower now

Date posted: 30 January 2016

One of the world’s largest flowers, famous for a stench likened to rotting flesh, has begun its stinky reveal at Adelaide Botanic Garden’s Bicentennial Conservatory (download a map of the Garden here).

The Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) – found in the rainforests of Sumatra – is commonly known as the Corpse Flower, and it can grow up to three metres tall.

The flowering event, which follows the state’s first spectacular Titan arum bloom at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden last month, is expected to draw huge crowds in the city, given more than 5,000 people flocked to see it in the Adelaide Hills.

Botanic Gardens of South Australia Interim Director Greg Mackie OAM said the Bicentennial Conservatory’s opening hours would be extended to allow the public to experience one of the world’s most fascinating plants, which can take 10 years to flower from seed.

“Given the rarity of this event and the sheer beauty of the flower, we’re opening the Conservatory until midnight tonight (last entry at 11:30pm) – with entry to the Garden limited to the Conservatory Gate only – and extending the opening hours on Tuesday (7am to 6:30pm),” Mr Mackie said.

“If you missed the flower at Mount Lofty, now’s your chance to see this jewel of the Sumatran rainforest in the heart of Adelaide.”

Botanic Gardens Horticultural Curator of Plant Propagation, Matt Coulter, said tell-tale signs the Adelaide Titan arum – named “Ganteng” (Indonesian for handsome) following a social media competition –  was about to flower began earlier today.

“The spadix (yellow flower-bearing spike) stopped growing; the spathe (collar-like structure around it) started turning burgundy and began to unfurl; and liquid oozed out of the spathe with its distinctive odour to attract pollinators,” Mr Coulter said.

“The odour will be at its strongest this evening, but the flower will still be spectacular viewing for the next 36 to 48 hours.”

Entry to the Bicentennial Conservatory will be limited to the northern end, which faces the Conservatory Gate off Plane Tree Drive. A donation to help the Gardens’ important conservation work for the threatened species is appreciated.

Metered parking is available on Hackney Road and Plane Tree Drive, but visitors are encouraged to use public transport due to the expected high level of interest.

Visitors are also encouraged to bring plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat due to the possibility of long lines. Some food, coffee and ice block stalls and trucks will be stationed alongside Plane Tree Drive.

Visit the Botanic Gardens of South Australia’s website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for imagery and updates throughout the Titan arum’s flowering and use the hashtag #stinkyBGSA in your posts about the flower.

See you there!