World's tallest - and stinkiest - flower blooms

Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse is where the worldŐs tallest flower has bloomed on May 28, 2014. The...

Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse is where the worldŐs tallest flower has bloomed on May 28, 2014. The Amorphophallus titanum, or Titan Arum, is the size of a small tree, standing up to six metres tall and five metres across. This flower is rare to see. Until 1989, fewer than 25 flowerings have occurred in botanical gardens worldwide. The bloom lasts approximately 12 hours, making it one of the shortest blooming flowers known. Mike DiBattista/QMI Agency

Tony Ricciuto, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:16 PM ET

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — It’s a big stinker.

And that’s part of the reason why people are rushing to the Floral Showhouse in Niagara Falls to get a glimpse -- and a whiff -- of the world’s tallest flower.

The massive bell-shaped flower, which is called Amorphophallus titanum or Titan Arum, has bloomed, but it only lasts about 12 hours.

Joan Cornelius, manager of the Floral Showhouse, said it’s difficult to predict exactly when the flower will open.

“We’ve been watching it for the last couple of days and could see that the pressure was building up,” said Cornelius. “I checked it on the webcam at about 8:30 p.m. last night and saw that it was opening. Once it starts the process it doesn’t stop. We are really happy with the way it has turned out this year.


Bruce Macdonald, assistant supervisor at the Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse, is seen beside the world's tallest flower. Mike DiBattista/QMI Agency

After flowering, a single leaf emerges in place of the bloom, which is the size of a small tree, standing up to six metres tall and five metres across.

Aside from its size, the Titan Arum is also known for it unique smell. Cornelius said the plant is often referred to as “the corpse flower.”

“In its natural habitat it tries to attract certain insects that feed on rotting meat. It needs to attract those pollinators because the flower will not self-pollinate, it needs pollen from another flower,” Cornelius explained.

Wayne Allen, an avid photographer from Beamsville, Ont., visited last week to shoot some photos and that’s when he found out about this particular flower.

“I couldn’t wait for it to open and we didn’t know if it was going to open in a week or a month ... today we came back to take more photos and found that it was open,” said Allen. “This is so unique. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to witness this.”


Videos

Photos