The story of our corm

In 2003 a corm (the size of a small orange) of Amorphophallus titanum was gifted to RBGE by Hortus Botanicus Leiden, Netherlands.

After 7 years of growing, in August 2010 the corm weighed in at an impressive 153.9 kg, setting a new world record. It took 5 staff to hold the corm and we had to borrow scales from Edinburgh Zoo to weigh it!

In May 2011 a bud emerged and all at RBGE watched in eager anticipation to see if a leaf or a flower would emerge.

In July 2011 the titan arum revealed itself as a leaf, growing at an incredible rate of 10 cm per day, and reaching a final height of 4.20 metres after 109 days. The glasshouse was barely tall enough to fit it in and the leaf squeezed itself up against the roof.

While we were disappointed that it was not a flower, it was amazing seeing just how fast the leaf grew, seen here with the growth chart and our timelapse film.

After growing for 18 months the corm again went into a resting period until August 2013, when another leaf bud emerged and while not as strong growing as the previous one, it still managed to literally hit the roof! The leaf continued to grow and at the beginning of 2015 began to turn yellow, finally collapsing in April.

Our frist tweet of 2015 - Bud comparisonTo our surprise, when we removed the leaf stalk from the corm we noticed the emergence of a new bud that continued to grow and on the 11th May 2015 it pushed its head above the soil.

This bud looked different to the leaf bud of 2011 and to our delight on the 12th June it revealed itself as Scotlands first Amorphophallus titanum flower.

Here is the growth over 7 days; from 11-17 June 2015:

Titan Arum Growth 11-17th June 2015


Our plant with one of its personal assistants for scale! (From 21st June 2015)

Titan Arum at RBGE - Daily Image

Then on Friday 26th June (at 4pm) we noted a really bad smell eminating from the Lowland Tropics Glasshouse and we then witnesed the opening of our first flower.

The flower closed on the 30th of June began to flop on 1 July.

Our bloom lasted 4 day before finaly floping on the 1st July

As the flower began to fade and flop we took the opportunity to collect important parts of the plant and preserve it for posterity.
On 3rd July a small team representing  Science, Horticulture and the Herbarium- eagerly observed by a larger crowd of visitors, press and in-house photographers- gathered and started to make the collections

Voucher Collecting

Now it's mounted will join our other 3 million specimens including that of the titan arum from 1891 donated by Kew and will be available to study by both botanists here in Edinburgh and also around the globe.

Mounting of the specimen

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