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Gardeners grow biggest flower ever in Britain

by webdev

June 08, 2011

A very large - and extremely rare - flower has bloomed at the Eden Project in Cornwall, England.

The Titan Arum, which is also known as the "corpse flower" for its rancid fragrance, grew to nine feet, six inches before bursting into bloom late last week. Its impressive height made it the largest flower ever grown in the UK.

"It is a true freak of nature, stunning to look at and foul-smelling at the same time," said Eden's Rainforest Biome supervisor Hetty Ninnis.

The plant is native to the Western Sumatra in Indonesia and is a distant relative of the 'lords and ladies,' a British lily. It is distinguished by its yellowy, fleshy spike known as a spadix. This is wrapped in a single cream leaf which, when opened, reveals a rich crimson inside.

When the plant is ready to attract pollinators, the spike heats up and gives off a foul smell which is very attractive to insects. It then develops a fruit that attracts birds.

The Titan takes about six years to grow and, before blooming, can grow as much as five inches per day. Experts say it only blooms for about 48 hours before shrivelling up.

While this flower is the largest ever grown in the UK, the largest Titan flower in the world was grown in the United States. A New Hampshire doctor grew a corpse flower that measured over 10 feet, two inches tall in 2010.

Unlike the Titan Arum, many tropical flowers are often both beautiful to look at and smell. These blooms are ideal for flower gifts for any occasion.

Popular tropical flowers include orchids, lilies and birds of paradise.


This article is brought to you by Teleflora - a leader in the flower delivery service for over 75 years. Teleflora helps its customers buy flowers online and specializes in bringing the freshest available flowers for a variety of holidays and occasions - all hand-delivered in keepsake vases by the best local florists.


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