Kew Gardens: World's worst smelling flower that reeks of rotting flesh bursts into bloom

The world’s worst smelling flower – with an aroma of rotting meat – has burst into bloom at Kew Gardens.

But you’ll have to hurry if you want to see it as experts say that is likely to remain in flower for less than 24 hours.

Kew Gardens – the ‘mother’ of Wakehurst botanic gardens at Ardingly, near Haywards Heath – say that the stinky plant is a titan arum or Amorphophallus titanium.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Nicknamed the corpse flower due to the foul smell of rotten flesh it produces when in bloom, the titan arum can grow at a rate of nearly 10cm a day to a height of around 3m.

The work's stinkiest flow - A titan arum at Kew Gardens' Princess of Wales Conservatory

When in bloom, titan arum’s flower spike (spadix) produces heat.

This, say experts, helps the smell travel and can attract pollinators that love to feed and breed on flesh from up to half a mile away.

Titan arum’s dark red to purple interior resembles a piece of meat, adding to the allure for flesh-loving pollinators.

When titan arum bloomed for the second time at Kew in 1926, it attracted such big crowds that the police were called to control them.

Native to the rainforests of Sumatra, it is now endangered in the wild due to deforestation and land degradation.

It is housed in Kew’s Princess of Wales conservatory.