The rare blooming of a giant flower, taller than a man, that stinks of carrion, has been drawing thousands of visitors to Basel University’s botanical garden.
The only previous time a titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) produced a flower in Switzerland was 75 years ago. World-wide, there have only been 134 recorded instances of cultivated plants blooming.
The nearly two-metre tall flower opened on Friday evening. The flower started to poke out of the soil in March, and in the past few days it had been growing at the rate of about six centimetres a day. But before then it had taken 17 years for the corm to grow to 20kg and to reach the blossoming stage. It will start wilting on Saturday evening or Sunday. Its mother plant last bloomed in the Frankfurt Palm Garden in 1992.