World's largest flower to bloom in Zurich this weekend

World's largest flower to bloom in Zurich this weekend

This weekend, people in Zurich will be given the opportunity to see one of the spectacles of the natural world, after the Botanical Garden at the University of Zurich confirmed that the world's largest flower will likely start to bloom between Saturday and Monday. After almost being destroyed in 2013, the Swiss university said that their Titan Arum has already grown 29 centimetres in four days.

Update: The Titan Arum started to flower on the morning of May 24, 2023.

Titan Arum to bloom in Zurich on this weekend

According to a statement given to Watson, the Botanical Garden - one of the many free things to do in Zurich - expects its Titan Arum to bloom on the weekend starting May 20. While it is impossible to predict exactly when the full bloom will occur, staff at the garden expect it to flower between Saturday and Monday.

The announcement follows significant plant growth in the past few days, with the Titan Arum growing from 97 centimetres tall on May 15, to 121 centimetres by Ascension Day and 125 centimetres tall on May 19 - they can grow as high as 3,2 metres in their lifetime. Botanists told Watson that this specific plant blooming is a miracle after it was almost destroyed by Swiss schoolchildren in 2013. This will only be the second time a Titan Arum has bloomed in Zurich - the last flowering occurred in 2019.

Amorphophallus titanum at the Botanical Garden in Zurich

Titan Arum is officially the largest flower in the world. Amorphophallus titanum - translated from Latin as “misshapen titan penis” - no that’s not funny, quiet in the back - is a threatened plant species that has its origins in the rainforests on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. The largest of its kind is held in the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, weighing in at a whopping 153,9 kilograms. 

However, those who flock to the Zurich Botanical Gardens hoping to see the giant plant opening and smell the sweet perfume of freshly sprouted flora might be better off visiting some more local spring flowers. When a Titan Arum blooms, it gives off a horrific Zurich HB-like odour that experts have described as smelling like “rotting meat.” So if you do plan to visit this wonder of nature, be sure to bring a clothes peg and be quick, as Titan Arum blooms only last for up to 36 hours!

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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