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    Titan arum unfurled in Meise Botanic Garden

    © Plantentuin Meise
    Blooming Titan arum April 2016
    © Plantentuin Meise

    Meise Botanic Garden has predicted for some days already that the titan arum bloom would not leave us waiting for much longer. The large bract started to open this afternoon at 13h00. The titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum), also called the ‘copse flower’, is a rare plant threatened with extinction in its original habitat, the tropical rainforests of Sumatra. The plant is true to its name, ‘giant’, because it is in fact also the largest ‘flower’ in the world.

    This time, the first plant will be a rather dwarf titan arum, of ‘barely’ 145 cm in size. Especially when you compare this with one of the botanic’s previous specimens that reached a record height of 244 cm in 2013.

    Visitors can appreciate the bloom of a titan arum for 72 hours. This is how long the bloom lasts. It is a visual and smelly spectacle. The typical smell of rotten flesh starts to spread through the tropical, warm and moist atmosphere of the conservatory from the moment the front cover opens, and is strongest the first evening.

    The Meise Botanical Garden remains exceptionally open until 22h00 for two evenings, on 16 February and 17 February. The third day, the flower starts wilting.

    The titan arum, symbol of cooperation between Botanic Gardens

    The titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) is a rare and endangered plant from the tropical rainforests of Sumatra. The plant in its original habitat, just like the orang-utans, is threatened with extinction by the deforestation of the island. The plant symbolizes cooperation between the botanical gardens of Europe that exchange seeds or multiply plants through their network in order to preserve species and to fight against the disappearance of biodiversity worldwide.

    The Brussels Times