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Smelly Qld corpse flower blooms

The Cairns corpse flower, or Spud, as it’s affectionately known. Photo Cairns Botanic Gardens Facebook page.

The Cairns corpse flower, or Spud, as it’s affectionately known. Photo Cairns Botanic Gardens Facebook page.

Cairns [AAP]

A rose by any other name wouldn’t smell this blooming awful.

But the titan arum – commonly called the corpse flower – didn’t get its nickname for nothing.

The enormous, bizarre flower emits a rotting animal stench, which it uses to attract pollinating insects during a 24-hour-long bloom every few years.

And despite the pong, the nation’s biggest specimen, which fully opened in Cairns on Thursday night, is expected to attract thousands of visitors before it starts to wilt late on Friday.

The 2.82 metre tall flower – one of five at the gardens – last opened in 2013 and has dazzled botanists with its large dark purple ‘skirt’.

‘It has the largest unbranched inflorescence [flower head] in the world,’ Cairns Botanic Gardens curator David Warmington told AAP of the species.

‘It really is a brilliant sight.’

The corpse flower’s short pollination period makes it a rare spectacle in its natural Sumatran habitat but it has found a home in numerous Australian botanic gardens.

Melbourne’s gardens had been home to the largest Australian specimen until the far north’s latest stinker beat its record by a few measly centimetres.

The Guinness World Records has the tallest ever bloom measuring 310cm.


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