The biggest flower in the world

Why do some flowers smell so bad? Watch this video to find out about a very big, and very smelly, flower at the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK.

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. Remember you can read the transcript at any time.


We're in the rainforest biome of the Eden Project in Cornwall, and I'm standing next to a Titan Arum in full bloom. The Titan Arum is the world's largest inflorescence. This is basically a whole bunch of flowers working as one. This one is standing at 1 metre 83 centimetres tall, but we have had them up to 2 metres 90. Scientifically known as Amorphophallus titanum and commonly known as the Corpse Flower, these huge flowering structures send their overpowering stench of decay throughout the rainforest, where they attract things like carrion beetles and sweat flies – all looking for somewhere to lay their eggs.

Titan Arums are thermogenic. That means they can raise their own temperature by up to and over ten degrees centigrade. This heats up the perfume in the flower, and this structure in the middle, the spadix, convects the heat, sending the perfume throughout the forest. This flower has taken nine years to prepare for this moment. It will only be reproductive for 48 hours. On the first night the stigma and the ovaries are receptive to pollen. On the second night it will release its own pollen, but by that stage the stigma and ovaries will no longer be receptive.

© The Eden Project


Average: 4.7 (6 votes)

Submitted by dodosolsollalasol_21 on Sat, 29/04/2023 - 15:53


my favourite flower is cherry blossoms because when I see this flower, automatically it reminds me of Japan :)

Submitted by jenniferperez on Tue, 07/02/2023 - 15:19


I have two favorite flowers: the orchid and the sunflower. they remind me my childhood. I used to plant sunflower on my balcony, I loved to admire them. While the orchid remind me my granma and mom, they adore this.

Submitted by Khin Thander Saw on Sun, 11/12/2022 - 13:12


I love every flowers in the world. If I had a choice, it would be tulip. I have never seen these amazingly beautiful tulips in real life. I will be great if I had a chance to see the landscape of tulips in Netherlands in spring, obviously my favorite season. Tulips are the sign of love, patience, kindness.

Submitted by Future_Nibras on Thu, 01/12/2022 - 13:33


My favourite flower is rose. I like other flowers too but I find the rose to be the most beautiful among all flowers. It is also called the king of flowers. They come in many colours so it offers great variety.

For instance, they are available in red, pink, white, yellow, blue and more. My favourite is the white rose. Even though the rose has small and sharp thorns on its stem, people love picking roses.

Submitted by Rain Man on Sat, 19/11/2022 - 03:17


We not only pick up excellent natural English but also a lot of knowledge. From this video alone, I have learned a few things that I did not know before. Many thanks to British Council!

Submitted by Ivy Tran on Wed, 02/11/2022 - 10:44


What's your favourite flower? What's special about it?
I think every flower have its own special, But I fall in love with Roses, I love the colour red and it is smooth as silk.

Submitted by Kibidango on Wed, 12/10/2022 - 01:40


Thank you so much for introducing such an unusual flower. I'm impressed with its size and the structure. I've never seen the flower which takes nine years to prepare for blooming.
As for my favourite flower, it’s chrysanthemums. This flower is one of the iconic autumn flowers in Japan. Many people have admired them for their elegant shapes, variety of colours and sizes since the ancient times. In addition, this flower is related to the traditional lunar calendar based on the old religion in Japan. I feel this feature so special.

Good Feedback! I totally agree with you: the video was very interesting. A lesson I can learn from this, is that sometimes, some things needs to be made with patience.