Here is Spud (botanical name Titan Arum), aged 13, a tropical plant which has been in the Cairns Botanic Gardens for over 3 years now. What’s so special about it? Well, for starters, when it blooms, which happens roughly every two years, it… stinks of rotting meat! On top of that, the plant stays open for 24 hours only!
My Intermediate students asked me to take them to the Botanic Gardens the moment they found out about this rare phenomenon. We read an article about the Cairns Flecker Gardens, worked on some useful vocabulary and… got on a public bus to the Botanic Gardens the same day in order to make it on time before the flower closed. As you can see in the photo I took (see right), Spud was still open when we came to visit it in the Conservatory.
To our surprise, we were not able to smell any ‘corpse’ stench! It turned out that the flower only stinks at certain times of the day 😉
We still had fun though exploring the Flecker Botanic Gardens! My students loved the sausage tree, snake cactus and carnivorous pitcher plants.
Below are some comments from the Botanic Gardens trip questionnaire:
Gabriel (Ecuador): “I would take my family and friends to the Gardens if I could. I sent them the photos of the giant flower.”
Kate (South Korea): “I saw some wildlife such as butterflies and kinds of bush turkeys.”
Kate (the Czech Republic): “I found the Gardens calm and very relaxing. I loved the wonderful flowers and plants and a wide variety of colours.”
Takuya (Japan): “I was excited to see plants which eat insects to survive.”
My students had a worksheet to fill in during their trip. Check out some of them below!
Justyna, CCEB teacher