The titan arum in the Ghent University Botanical Gardens flowered on Tuesday. The plant, which is 246 centimetres high, is the “largest specimen of its kind ever seen in Belgium.” It was named “Anne”, a nod in the direction of Ghent University’s Rector, Anne De Paepe.
The titan arum is particularly known for its very strong and nauseating scent. Some say that it has the “scent of death”, which is supposed to attract insects for pollination.
The plant flowers in two phases. The female flowers (situated below) open first, followed one or two days afterwards by male flowers which blossom above. It is this very characteristic which avoids self-fertilisation.
During this last week, the titan arum has not stopped growing. A further point worthy of note is that it has flowered later than anticipated.
The Ghent University Botanical Gardens indicates, “The plant measures 246 centimetres high, and is consequently the largest example ever seen in Belgium.”
Exceptionally the gardens are open until 8.30 p.m. today (Thursday), and yesterday (Wednesday), so as to allow the public the chance to admire the plant in flower.