Titan Arum, a flowering plant that is famous for giving off the smell of a rotting corpse when in flower…. is in flower right now at Kew Gardens.

The plant is as notable for the rotting smell as for its inflorescence (flowering structure), which is one of the largest in the world, and can reach as much as 10 feet in height.

The plant’s scientific name in full is actually Amorphophallus titanum, which derives from the ancient Green for amorphos, “without form, misshapen” + phallos, “phallus”, and titan, “giant”. So basically, a giant misshapen penis, for reasons that become quite obvious when it’s in full bloom.

(c) Kew Gardens

The more commonly used name “Titan arum” was coined by Sir David Attenborough for his BBC series The Private Life of Plants, in which the flowering and pollination of the plant were filmed for the first time.

Attenborough felt that constantly referring to the plant as Amorphophallus on a popular TV documentary would be inappropriate, because the translation of the scientific name was considered “too rude” for television audiences.

Kew Garden’s titan arum has now bloomed in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, but the flower only lasts for 48 hours.

Fortunately, that’s this weekend, although you’d be best to scurry down tomorrow (Saturday) for the best whiff of rotting flesh.

Visits to Kew Gardens costs £17.75 per adult (other prices available).

Tagged with:
SUPPORT THIS WEBSITE

The ianVisits website has been running now for just over a decade, initially as a news blog, later adding the events listings guide to the offbeat and geeky events in London.

Advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, but doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It’s very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether its a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of the ianVisits website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what IanVisits provides, then please support the website here.

Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*