Botanic garden will livestream fetid bloom of world’s largest flower
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Botanic garden will livestream fetid bloom of world’s largest flower

The titan arum's foul-smelling blooming draws thousands to Belgium's Meise Botanic Garden. © Belga

The titan arum in Meise Botanic Garden is in near bloom but, this year, it will flower without the usual crowds, with the garden opting to live stream the event as it remains shut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the first bloom took place in 2008, thousands of spectators have flocked to the botanical gardens in Meise, some ten kilometres north of Brussels, to witness the opening of the world’s largest flower.

But restrictions linked to the coronavirus pandemic will mean that botany enthusiast will this year have to pass on witnessing the event in person, meaning they will also be spared from sniffing the foul odours released by the flower to attract pollinators.

Described by the Meise gardens as something between “a cadaver, rancid cheese and rotten fish,” the rank stench has earned the flower the nickname Corpse Plant among Indonesians.

A live stream already available online shows the plan still clamped shut, with the gardens putting up a registration form for spectators to be notified when it begins to bloom.

The titan arum’s blooming is considered an exceptional event since they only remain in flower for 72 hours before dying off. In natural settings, the giant flowers bloom rarely, on average every three years.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times