Saturday, August 10, 2013

Revisiting the Titan Arum (Corpse Flower) in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

Last year just before Christmas I visited the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne in an attempt to see the flower of the Amorphophallus titanum plant (see my blog entry Unfortunately I was 2 days too early and it hadn't opened yet. I left for holidays a day after I visited the plant and it opened when I was away. I was quite disappointed as I really wanted to experience the 'perfume' of the Titan arum's flower which is supposed to smell like rotting flesh (which is where it gets its other common name 'corpse flower' from). Anyway I revisited the tropical greenhouse at the Botanical Gardens and saw the amazing leaf which is what grows after the flower dies back. Although it looks like an actual tree the plant you see in the picture below is actually one single leaf. I'm pretty sure this is called a compound leaf but it could be called a phyllode which is a modified leaf structure, I'm not quite sure. Apparently the leaf dies back each year and is replaced by a new one which grows from the plants corm. Seeing the huge leaf almost made up for the fact that I missed the plant in bloom. Titan arums are quite rare plants and until recently they had only been propagated in small numbers. The gardens have others that are being grown so hopefully in the future I will be able to experience one in flower.

Front and centre is the massive single leaf structure of the Amorphophallus titanum plant. The individual 'leaves' you see are actually called leaflets. Another 50cms of growth and it will be too tall for the greenhouse.

Thought I would include these two pictures of some orchids that were in the greenhouse also. Everyone loves orchids and there were heaps in flower inside the greenhouse.


  1. What are the opening and closing times for plant nursery greenhouse ????

    1. Pretty sure it is open whenever the gates to the gardens themselves are open (7.30am to sunset). They have been open every time i have visited.