Remember the Titan Arum that flowered at Christmas time?
Here's how it looks now:
It's had bits cut off it, and what wasn't removed has died down. What you see here is the remains of the male and female flowers which were hidden within it, the male ones at the top, the females below. The female flowers turn into the fruits, but I didn't think to ask today if they form fruit even if they weren't fertilised.
Today I got to have a special look behind this secret door:
This door is at the rear of the tropical greenhouse. If you look back at the first picture, it is hidden behind all those people and the titan arum. It is off-limits to the public, and I've never even noticed it before, but today I was able to go through it thanks to a special tour for Friends of the Botanic Gardens.
And what is hiding behind the secret door?
Another titan arum flower!
This one opened on 3rd January, but has now closed and its tall spadix has been removed to become a specimen in the National Herbarium of Victoria. On Saturday staff at the Gardens attempted to pollinate this flower with pollen gathered from the first one, but they won't know for some time if that was successful. Keep your fingers crossed!