Morphology: Amorphophallus titanum (titan arum)

The plant grows from a corm and produces one leaf at a time; this leaf can grow to be up to 6 metres tall and 5 metres wide. 

The flower produces a single spadix, the base of which is wrapped by a colourful spathe that protects the upper ring of male flowers and the lower ring of female flowers. The female flowers open first, one or two days before the male flowers mature, in order to encourage cross-pollination.

During blooming the spadix heats up to human body temperature. This is thought to help disperse the flower's eye-watering stench, which spreads through the jungle attracting carrion beetles, the plant's natural pollinators.

The titan arum is often called the largest flower in the world but that title actually belongs to Rafflesia arnoldii. Titan arum is actually an inflorescence - a collection of male and female flowers - and at 3 metres tall it is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world.

In 2010 the Guinness World Record for the tallest bloom was held by Louis Ricciardiello, whose plant was 3.1 metres tall when it flowered on 18 June 2010 on display at Winnipesaukee Orchids in Gilford, New Hampshire, USA.

However the tallest recorded bloom of a Titan Arum flower was 3.73m (12ft 3in) at Cibodas Botanic Garden, West Java, Indonesia.

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Cibodas Botanic Garden, Java, Indonesia; 3.7m tall, March
2016. Photo with Prima Hutabarat, counterpart to #teamRBGE working in Sumatra
and Kalimantan.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)