15,000 flock to sniff world’s smelliest plant in Edinburgh

Visitors flocked to see the giant Amorphophallus Titanum flowering.
Visitors flocked to see the giant Amorphophallus Titanum flowering.
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More than 15,000 people have flocked to see and sniff the world’s smelliest plant after it flowered for only the second time in Scotland.

The giant Amorphophallus titanum is known as the “corpse flower” in its native Sumatra because of the “dead meat” smell it emits in full bloom to attract pollinators.

Scotland’s only mature specimen bloomed at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) last week. Thousands of people have queued to see the two-metre tall plant, which is expected to die within days.

Visitors who experienced the peak of the pong on the first night described it as rotting fish, stinky cheese and sweaty socks to dirty nappies and festering food-waste.

The plant has been cultivated at the RBGE since it was donated in 2003. It has only flowered once before, in 2015, when it was given its nickname “New Reekie”.

Glasshouse supervisor Fiona Inches said: “We have been welcoming people of all ages and many have been making repeat visits. The levels of engagement have been terrific.”