If you are looking for a plant with an unusual name and a really big flower then Amorphophallus titanum or the Titan Arum might just be it. The flower is huge, around 2-3 m tall and 1 – 1.5m wide, also known as the Corpse flower, mainly due to the smell.
However if you are looking for the largest flower in the world then it does have some competition in the form of Rafflesia arnoldii.
And the name Amorphophallus titanum, according those who study this sort of thing means ‘large deformed penis’. So that’s all pretty unusual. It is from Sumatra, so can you grow it in Australia? Yes, it comes from the mountains where it’s a bit cooler.
Bob Chalmers from Paradise Distributors thought he might like to get some seed for this, so what did he do? He didn’t look on the internet as he is an adventurous type, he went to Sumatra to find out where they grow and organized a seed supply. It took him a while to find one in flower, but with the help of a local guide he reached his ‘holy grail’ and here is the picture (see picture right) of a flowering Amorphophallus titanium, Titan Arum or Titan Lily to prove it.
If you are looking for a talking point in the garden then this is it, also called the ‘corpse plant’ or ‘bung bangkai’ because it smells a bit when in flower, however Bob assures us that it’s not that bad.
Yes you can get seeds from Bob at Paradise Distributors, and you will be able to get some growing notes and ideas on how to germinate seed as well.
Grow them from seed, starting of in a smallish pot. But in the long term think about where you are going to grow this fascinating plant as it will need a little space as it gets older.
It forms a large underground tuber over time but yes you can grow them in pots as long as you keep potting it up to let the tuber develop. Full sun and it must be kept moist.