We wandered over to the Botanic Gardens to visit the Titan Arum this afternoon. As expected, there was quite a queue to enter the tropical glasshouse, but a little white terrier in a jaunty red cap helped entertain the masses.
We were let through the doors after about 50 minutes lining up in the warm sunshine.
The Titan Arum was at the far end of the glasshouse, and there were plenty of other plants and things to look at on the way to it, including the fern-shrouded pond in which I spotted two teeny weeny goldfish.
The carnivorous pitcher plant
And here it is!
The smell? There was hardly any smell at all! You had to stick your nose right up close to get a subtle whiff of its rotting flesh aroma. This is surely the first time ever people have been disappointed by the absence of a horrid stench.
The spathe (the phallic bit is the spadix)
The Titan Arum grows very, very fast. This one was only a 1.5cm shoot on 6 February but grew to 2.53 metres in only 35 days. Earlier this month it sprouted 38 centimetres in just 2 days! It's the tallest Titan Arum grown in Australia.
Luke getting up close and personal
This Titan Arum - which grew from a tuber weighing 34 kilograms - was cultivated from seed harvested by David Attenborough when he was in Sumatra filming the Private Life of Plants.