Edinburgh: the giant, stinky, misshapen-penis flower

Titan Arum Edinburgh 1

Big, smelly excitement in Edinburgh this weekend, as a titan arum (also known as amorphophallus titanum, or giant misshapen phallus) blooms for the first time at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Titan Arum Edinburgh 8

The queue to see titan arum, as spied-upon from behind some birds of paradise.

We’ve been following the flower on Twitter, so we’d be sure to know when it bloomed. The flower theoretically only lasts for a day before starting to droop, but we saw it on its second morning, still looking pert. We arrived early and were rewarded with a blissfully short wait time (we hear the queue is two hours long as of this afternoon). The staff at the Botanics did a wonderfully enthusiastic job teaching us about the titan arum as we waited to see it.

Titan Arum Edinburgh 3

In addition to being really, really big, these flowers are famous for smelling like rotting corpses. I have to admit, this was muting my enthusiasm for going to see it somewhat, but luckily the stink is strongest at night; by day only a mildly fishy odor was left, and only in one part of the room.

Titan Arum Edinburgh 3

People included for scale

After our meet-n-greet with the big flower, we wandered through the rest of the glass houses at the Botanics.

Giant Waterlilies

The giant waterlilies were particularly fetching.

Botanics Glass Houses

Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens are always a nice place to spend some time. Entry to the grounds (and one bit of the glass houses) is free, and there’s a small charge to see all of the glass houses.

Edinburgh Botanics Glass Houses

The titan arum (or “New Reekie”, as it’s being called) should still be worth seeing (and smelling) for the next couple of days.

Titan Arum Edinburgh - 7

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