New world record for Botanic Gardens


By Amanda MacMillan

STAFF at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh are celebrating world record success as their giant corm tips the scales.

The Amorphophallus Titanum weighed in at a whopping 153.95 kilograms which beat the current world record of 117 kilograms held by Bonn Botanic Gardens in Germany.

It took five members of staff to lift the giant plant and scales had to be borrowed from Edinburgh Zoo because of its huge size.

It will now take 2-3 weeks for the weight to be confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Steve Scott, senior horticulturist at the Gardens, said: “It’s been really good fun. I didn’t expect it to be that big. I thought it would be a little smaller because normally it triples its size and it started off at about 20 kilograms.

“When I first got the plant seven years ago it was the size of an orange.

“We asked people to guess the weight and whoever guessed the closest gets a behind the scenes tour.

“If it doesn’t flower we have nowhere to put it. Hopefully when the corm does flower we will break that world record as well.”

The plant is native to the tropical rain forest of Sumatra and when it does eventually flower it will be a first for Scotland.

The flower produces an eye watering stench of rotting meat which attracts pollinators such as carrion flies and beetles.

Louise Galloway, indoor supervisor at the Gardens, said: “It’s great. It’s been a lot of hard work. It will hopefully flower at the end of this year or the beginning of next.”