World’s Tallest Flower Growing at Niagara Parks

World’s Tallest Flower at the Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse

Bloom Update:
The second flower was in full bloom on Tuesday, May 15, and is now in decline, but still on display. Staff are now gathering pollen, which can be stored for years when frozen.

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courtesy of the Toronto Star

May 5, 2012 – The first plant in full bloom. Wayne Hoeschle, caretaker of the plant, stands beside the massive flower

The Niagara Parks Commission is pleased to announce that it has two of the tallest flowers in the world growing on site in the Floral Showhouse.

EXTENDED HOURS OF OPERATION
Because of all the excitement surrounding this rare plant, the Floral Showhouse has extended their hours to 9:30am-9:00pm daily until May 16, and we will return to 9:30am-5:00pm starting May 17.

Image of mature plant, courtesy of Louis M. Ricciardiello.

Image of mature plant, courtesy of Louis M. Ricciardiello.

A special thanks to Sonia Day, Toronto Star garden columnist and author who joined us for a Mother’s Day book signing.
Read her article

BACKGROUND
The Amorphophallus titanum, or Titan Arum
, is a massive bell-shaped flower up to three metres in height. Aside from its size, the Titan Arum is also known for its unique smell. After flowering, a single leaf emerges in the place of the blossom, which is the size of a small tree, standing up to six metres tall and five metres across. This flower is exceedingly rare to see. Until 1989, only 21 flowerings were recorded to have occurred in botanical gardens worldwide.

The two dormant corms (bulb like structures) were donated to NPC by Louis M. Ricciardiello of Gilford, New Hampshire. At the time when they were donated, each corm weighed 68 kilograms (150 lbs). The floral buds are steadily growing an average of an inch a day, and are expected to open in about three to five weeks. Each open bloom will last less than one week. Weekly updates on the growth and bloom of the plants will be posted on the blog. CLICK FOR PHOTOS.

The plants are currently on display at the Floral Showhouse. Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Showhouse is located just south of the Horseshoe Falls, at 7145 Niagara Parkway. Admission to the facility is $5 for adults and $3.75 for children 6-12 (excluding taxes), with monies generated being reinvested into the maintenance and care of the magnificent conservatory and surrounding gardens, as well as into additional programming and new exhibits. For an additional $5, residents of Ontario may also upgrade to a season’s pass, to return as often as they like as displays are changed throughout the year. Parking is also available on site.

NPC is committed to a vision of Ontario’s Niagara Parks as one that Preserves a rich heritage, Conserves natural wonders, and Inspires people world-wide. Founded in 1885, The Niagara Parks Commission is an Operational Enterprise Agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Its mission is to protect the natural and cultural heritage along the Niagara River for the enjoyment of visitors while maintaining financial self-sufficiency.

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