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The rare Titan Arum at Cambridge University Botanic Garden is to flower imminently

By Ben Comber

The blossom of the titan arum
The blossom of the titan arum

Growth of the Titan Arum at Cambridge Univeristy Botanic Garden is slowing - a sign that it will soon flower.

Cambridge University Botanic Garden is awaiting the return of the Titan.

One of the two Titan Arums held in the garden’s collection of plants will soon produce another huge, magnificent flower along with the noxious smell that accompanies it.

Native to Sumatra in Indonesia, the plant produces one of the largest single flowering structures in the world. It usually lasts for just two to three days.

Staff at the Botanic Garden will indicate on the blackboard positioned behind Titus when it is flowering.

Titus's signs of flowering:

- a slowing down in growth. Once we past the fast growth stage we are talking a matter of days for the flower to open

- the frilly spathe, embracing the upright spear-like spadix will get fatter, and begin to darken and ‘flush’

- the spathe should begin to part around the waist which will reveal the spadix

- on the day it opens it should exude a malodorous fluid in the afternoon prior to flowering

The flower was named Titus, decided by the public on a social media poll.

The Garden is to stay open late until 10pm on the two days Titus is in flower to allow as many people as possible to experience the rare spectacle.


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