This 'Giant Misshapen Phallus' Is About To Stink Out Kew

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 90 months ago
This 'Giant Misshapen Phallus' Is About To Stink Out Kew
The titan arum (or corpse flower) at Kew Gardens

If you're in the vicinity of Kew Gardens over the next few days, we'd advise you to arm yourself with a clothes peg.

The titan arum — also known as the corpse flower — is expected to bloom in the next two or three days, and when it does, it's going to stink the whole place out.

So repulsive is the stench of this 70kg plant, which towers up to three metres high, it's earned itself the nickname 'The Big Stink'.

What exactly does it stink like? Apparently a ripe mixture of German cheese, rotting fish, sweaty socks, Chloraseptic and human faeces. Oh, and a 'sweet floral scent' (too little too late, we fear).

At least this giant feculent flower must be one hell of a looker then? Erm. In fact it's full Latin name is Amorphophallus titanum, which translates as 'giant misshapen phallus'. The name was renosed to Titan arum by David Attenborough, who feared he'd offend viewers of his TV programme The Private Lives of Plants.

At least you can't accuse Kew Gardens of plant inequality.

Last Updated 20 April 2016